What Is Software Prototyping And Why is there so much Hype About Software Prototyping Process?

Software Prototyping

Imagine you are working on a big software development project. Yes, the app is estimated to be the next big thing like WhatsApp or Snapchat on the Google Play Store. Now such apps won’t be created overnight, they need an adequate amount of time and patience. Meanwhile, you have started looking for a custom software development company to get started with the development process. After working for a few months, all day and all night long, your project is ready but features some unnecessary flaws.

See, no development project is perfect. To be honest, in the software development world, perfection is a chimera especially when it hits the market in the first place. As a businessperson, you might think your magnum opus will bring a huge fortune. And this is when your nightmare turns out to be true! With the unwanted trolling from your current users, and harsh criticisms, now instead of thinking about who is at fault, you must be considering what else can be done? Time to rebuild the entire thing? Does this mean you have to go through all that again?

What if you had opted for software prototyping right from the beginning? The market is extremely tough and surviving in today’s cut-throat competition is pretty much intense, complex and complicated. So here is a fresh piece for you emphasizing what the software prototyping process is and why the concept of the software prototype must be acknowledged across the globe right away!

What is Software prototyping or What Software Prototyping refers to?

A software prototype is a base product that exactly looks like the final product in regards to appearance and functionality. Well, this is not a cookie-cutter for all the software prototypes. Even the concept of software prototyping is divided into different categories. For example, the very first category is high-fidelity prototypes (HiFi). These represent the same functionality as the software, yes ditto! Here you get an absolute demonstration of the software, so one can quickly figure out where exactly the software is lacking and does the app have any downsides, etc. The only drawback is high fidelity prototypes have lengthier development cycles which lead to high development costs.

  • The entire idea is showcased among stakeholders
  • The idea is tested before
  • Completion of the design process
  • Development usability is being evaluated here

Next, we have low fidelity prototypes, these are two-dimensional charts. Though they don’t replicate the final product, they simply list and tend to explain features in black and white. Lofi software prototypes are used to gain buy-in from third parties to conduct a successful application development.

  • Working on the idea
  • The basic idea or initial prototype is given importance here
  • The early development process is displayed
  • Primary functionalities are being authenticated

So in a nutshell, a software prototype is a model of the product. A sample was mainly created to test the functionality, and features, attain feedback and identify potential defects prior to its release. How exactly is the software prototyping procedure conducted?

  • The development team is not just allocated to develop the product but also its refine the initial prototype
  • Next, a selected bunch of customers are asked to use the software prototype
  • Once they use the prototype, the customer will come up with appropriate feedback for the developer and then they will begin enhancing the initial prototype unless it becomes acceptable enough as the final product.

As simple as that!

Types of Software prototyping include

  • Handmade Drawings / Paper Wireframes – These assist in sketching the idea on the paper first. You see implementation cannot be done on vague ideas, there should be some existence. Artistry is not what matters the most here, instead focus on what the app will look like, how will it function, and the buttons, all these must be sketched out prior.
  • Rapid prototyping – If you want to save time and money then Rapid prototyping is your call. And maybe that’s the reason why rapid prototyping is used in the agile development process. Another word for rapid prototyping is the throwaway prototyping process where previous prototypes become useless.
  • Evolutionary prototyping – This one mainly assists in understanding all specific software development requirements. In evolutionary prototyping, all the missing features can be detected and result in successful feature development. Evolutionary prototyping is quite an interactive process and often supports features that are identified and understood.
  • Incremental prototyping – If you are creating an enterprise software then incremental prototyping is the right choice for you! Here multiple prototypes are developed and further combined into a single big prototype representing the actual software. This one is pretty much recommendable for enterprise software development. Incremental prototyping ensures the seamless execution of changes.
  • Extreme prototyping – After incremental prototyping comes extreme prototyping, here you have to prepare an HTML build and then convert the prototype into a fully functional model and finalize the production. Extreme prototyping saves ample time and makes it easy to showcase web development at every level.

What is the Significance of a Software Prototype or Initial Prototype?

Have you ever known about scale building models? What exactly happens is the architect takes all the relevant notes and brief from their clients and comes up with blueprints. Now since the blueprints aren’t just enough, the scale model of the building is created. Similarly, when a developer understands their client’s requirement and creates a sophisticated prototype. By doing this, the client is able to peep into the exact plan and provide relevant feedback regarding the same. Not to mention, a scale model is extremely easy when there are lots of changes to make. Software prototyping is often used to gather early feedback and make relevant changes so that the development teams don’t have to code or make significant changes later on.

Further below I would like to mention the benefits of software prototyping. But before that why do you need a software prototype?

As mentioned earlier, most business owners tend to finish their software solutions free of bugs and errors. Well, because of the concept of prototyping, spotting necessary gaps or missing minor features becomes possible. Also, it turns out to be a pretty cost-effective venture.

  • Same vision – Software prototyping is said when the entire project is being described prior to its implementation. All the crucial features can be visualized, all the important questions are being answered regarding functionality. Also, the same software prototype model can be used for another project in future. So this one is never said to be a waste of time. You can always learn from it!
  • Involving customers – Another interesting aspect to take into consideration here is involving customers. Many businesses ignore the act of involving customers in the early stages of development processes. By doing so, quick changes can be made without much hassle. After all, the end product is meant to benefit the objectives of the customers and with the proper software prototyping in the web development process, all criteria can be well taken care of.
  • Understanding the Functions – Last but certainly not the least reason is you see in every software development project, the list of features and functionalities must be defined clearly. Now preferences can differ from one customer to another. For example, person A seeks for an advanced search function to look around for relevant information whereas others might prefer a simple search. Software prototyping definitely assists the development teams as well as clients to get well-acquainted with the project.

Benefits of Software Prototyping

Software prototyping is pretty beneficial today and here I would shed some light on certain benefits that both businesses and developers can avail themselves of.

Idea validation

Now of course the first and foremost step of every software development project is to conduct adequate research and to be honest, software prototyping is no different. Here research must be conducted in advance in order to avoid cognitive bias. And of course, your product hits the Google play store. With software prototyping, you get the liberty to validate the idea and test market demand. Not to mention this can certainly justify real-world product value. Apart from that, several current and potential risks can be mitigated in a significant amount of time.

Comprehensive Project Plan

Once your development team gets started with software prototypes what happens is they are compelled to plan out all the details of your project in depth. Every small detail must be taken into consideration right from the overall web design to buttons (where they will be placed), this gives a clear idea of a detailed and successful plan.

Saves ample Time and Money     

Software development is not a one-time process, it is an ongoing one. Not to mention that software development is a costly venture. Starting off with the prototyping process enables the team to receive accurate feedback from stakeholders and end-users. This vanishes the chances of any misconceptions or confusion which might occur at the time of coding and after that. Not to mention that getting these answers, in the end, can only cost you more in the long run. So, yes, a software prototype model in some way or the other is a cost-effective venture.

Certain tips to Take into Account when conducting a software prototyping model.

  • Strategize wisely by focusing on business needs, identifying issues and understanding the competitive market
  • Create a roadmap
  • Craft the prototype in such a way that it gives the real-app feel
  • Embrace collaboration

Final Thoughts

So that’s all for now! I hope the following post justifies its title. Conducting good software prototyping is not easy but it is a doable job. Just ensure that you end up choosing the right software development company around. In case, if you still have any doubt or query, feel free to mention that in the comment section below.  


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