There are many situations when creating a prototype of the final product of a project is not possible, because of the costs, the timing or just because of the nature of the product. But if you have the chance I recommend you to do it.
Prototyping in software projects
Currently I manage projects whose goal is the creation of mobile apps for different kinds of clients. The product of our projects is a software and software by its nature allows prototyping and progressive development.
There are different kinds of prototype solutions for mobile apps. Frequently we use Marvel and Flinto. They both allow to create very high fidelity prototypes that can be tested in the intended devices as if they were the real app.
Why is this so interesting inside the project of creation of an app?
1. It is very frequent that the client (and/or the product owner) doesn’t know exactly how the final product should look like, exactly what kind of functionalities should it include and how should they be presented to the app user.
The prototype allows the client to rethink the product if necessary as the result of its interaction with the prototype.
2. It is a lot cheaper and faster to introduce changes in a prototype of this kind than in the final app (product).
3. Design is fundamental in a mobile app. This allows designers to go always at least 1 sprint ahead of developers during the project. If you can create a first project just for prototyping it will be even better.
4. As the designs are realistic, all the assets created for the prototype and approved by the client can be used by the developers during the following phases of the project without any additional work from the designers.
What is your opinion?
What do you think? Do you prototype in your projects? What kind of tools do you use? Do you know any more reasons in favor of prototyping? And against?
I would like to know your comments.