Software Development – Prototyping

Posted 12 FebruaryTagged prototyping, software process

What is it and why is it so important?

We get asked this a lot, and normally because it’s seen as an additional expense that could be removed to keep costs down.

So we thought that we would write up a brief article to explain why you should invest in this particular aspect of software development, so that you can make an informed decision over what it’s worth to you.

What is it?

A prototype takes design one step further – where a design is look and feel, and a prototype is where you are able to interact with it, where you can click on a button and see what it does, fill out a form and see what happens when you click submit, filter on a list and see what information comes up and so on. And all of this is done without having to write a single line of code.

It can either be created before the design, or after the design of your software product has been completed – but either way, they both inform each other.

Bringing us onto…

Why do you need it?

It helps you to understand how you will navigate around your product in real terms, without you having to spend the time and money building it first. And trust us, you don’t want to spend months building a product, only to get to the very end, when you finally get to play around with the whole application, and realise that the developers have misunderstood what you were trying to say.

A prototype therefore helps to prevent scope creep and, in turn, cost.

Why is it important?

It not only ensures that you understand how your product is actually going to work, but it allows others to as well. It allows you to prove concept, without huge financial outlay.

So if you are pitching your product to investors, giving them the ability to be able to navigate around it, click on buttons, write messages, add people or whatever it is that your software was designed to do, speaks volumes! And if you haven’t had to spend months paying for developers to actually build it, you have been able to do it quickly and more efficiently. If it then needs tweaking, or enhancing, or scrapping and starting again, you haven’t had to pay the much bigger overheads you do with development work.

Once a prototype is then completed, and you are happy with it, it also means that you are in the strongest position you can be to get a quote for time and cost of the real development work. It means that there is less room for interpretation, and allows you to budget more effectively.

All of which leads to a stronger product outcome, a happier client, and a more successful result all round.

If you have any further questions about software prototyping, or would like to get in touch because you would like us to look at creating one for you, please do get in touch on +44 (0) 800 774 7306 or by filling out our enquiry form here.

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