What is rapid prototyping?
Prototyping is an important part of the development cycle which gives people the chance to test any idea without having to build it. As the development cycles can be lengthy, they extend the time for the product to hit the market, and postpone the product’s reach to the end-user. Thus the time to get feedback from the early users on the product will be a lengthy one.
Prototyping as an initial phase allows for a better view of investment and market opportunity. We are able to steer your product vision and scope to provide you with a digital solution quickly. Our goal is to minimize your time to market in order to focus on business strategy and funding. Rapid prototyping should not be confused with evolutionary prototyping which is another form of prototyping and is focused on the most understandable aspects of the project, whereas rapid prototyping is focused on the least understandable aspects.
How does rapid prototyping work?
Rapid prototyping consists of three steps which are listed below:
- Create the first version of the prototype.
- Show the first version of the prototype to the select people whose comments and feedback will be critical and beneficial for the overall process, making sure to act on the important outcomes from the feedback.
- Make the necessary improvements and changes on the first version of the prototype according to the feedback.
What is the scope of rapid prototyping?
It’s important to determine whether you need rapid prototyping or not, and know why you are doing it. You should know what you want to get out of this whole process of prototyping.
There are phases to prototyping, and it should be an evolving process. First you start with small sketches and ideas, then widen the idea and create larger scale, more detailed prototypes. The depth and the detail of these prototypes will change according to the scale and complexity of the project.
Overall, the rapid prototyping is done to give an initial feel of how the user experience and the user interface will be once they are combined.
Do you really need to carry out rapid prototyping?
The answer is no. You do not need to carry out rapid prototyping in every project, especially not on the ones that come with a solid design, and nothing out of the ordinary.
In the case of a new technology or a new feature being tried, or some first of a kind functionality being tested, then rapid prototyping will be very beneficial.
What are the rapid prototyping fidelity options?
Like every other aspect in life, the real question should be ‘where do we draw the line?’. The level of detail and depth should stop at a certain point. This is the point where the decision should be made on what level of detail is the prototype going to have?
In order to be able to know where we will stop, we should have already decided on why we need a prototype. The answer to this question should be clear in the customers mind in order to proceed. Then, the scale of the project has to be kept in mind, the effort that will be put forth in delivering the prototype has to be calculated and decided upon as well. When there is a clear answer to all these questions, then the fidelity options can be selected:
- Low fidelity
- Medium fidelity
- High fidelity
Some other aspects depending on which level of fidelity is chosen also include the type and format of the prototype. Is it going to be static or clickable (dynamic)? Is it going to be a sketch representation or an actual graphical design? Will the copy be real copy or dummy text?
After all these are decided on, the process can start.
Which companies can choose Saypr for Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is creating an initial prototype. It is the process of giving people the chance to test their idea or product without the need to wait for it to be fully produced. This usually takes place during the production period of the actual product, and a small working sample of the product that will be delivered to the user is launched for the reviews of a small number of authorized people. These are the early users and the feedback they give after using the product is critical, and can change the flow of the actual production process. Some changes might be requested from the actual product owner once the prototype is tested.
With rapid prototyping, people get the chance to execute very quick iterations to improve on the functionalities and the core designs. Since there is limited time and resource for this process, the focus is kept on small but impactful features which are usually the 20% of all the features that make up 80% of the impact on the project.
The early users of the prototype will be testing as the first end-users so their feedback will be critical in the improvement of the user experience, customer journeys and usability aspects of the product from an early stage rather than wait until it is too late. The later you wait to make such changes, it will require a lot of time and money to fix or make changes.
Rapid prototyping is relatively cheap when compared to the prices of development, so when rapid prototyping is carried out, the companies reduce the risk of failure of their projects. The fact that rapid prototyping eliminates the iterative bug fixing and error reporting phases helps launch ideas into the market at a much shorter time.
Small to medium size companies
Small to medium sized companies do not have the luxury or comfort like the larger companies do. In most cases, when focused on producing, these type of companies put a very large portion of their effort and money in a single product, as this is the only way to survive in the harsh industry. We can say that many smaller companies generally have one shot, and they must use it wisely.
Plus, they might get buy-in requests from early testers, the team members or stakeholders which have access to the prototypes. This will be of great help to such smaller companies as getting a product built is costly, and there is always need for some quick and easy money to boost things.
Large size companies
The case with larger companies is a bit different. They are not desperate for money at this stage of their existence, but the bad image or bad vibes a faulty product might bring on their business is not something any of these large companies will want. The potential loss of interest of people, loss of potential customers, loss of market share and many other side effects will turn to them as negative impacts so they usually stay on the safe side and nearly always get rapid prototyping done on their prototypes. They will also include larger test groups and might require a couple rounds of iterations on the prototypes, but as long as they are happy with the product, then theres no problem with getting an extra couple of iterations.
How much will rapid prototyping cost your company?
The prices of getting a rapid prototype will depend on a couple of things, the time and effort it takes for us to get it done, the level of detail required by the client, and the number of iterations our clients might require. The costs are fairly cheap when compared to the results of not getting a prototype. The costs they have to cover up for in a negative situation will rise to much higher values until they fix things and this will cost them much more.
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