What is Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping is an agile product development strategy. This method involves creating and testing 3-dimensional prototypes of a product or feature to optimize shape, size, and overall usability. As a result of user feedback and analysis, rapid prototyping develops product simulations for testing and validation during product development.
History of Prototyping
The idea of prototyping dates back many centuries in human history where inventors would create working scale models to help them explore and experiment. If you look at the Wright brothers who through an iterative process of trial and error finally created the first airplane which by definition was the prototype.
How Does Prototyping Work
Rapid prototyping has three simple steps:
Production- of an early quick prototype by the team. This is a graphic depiction of the requirements document’s design specs. It can be interactive or not, high-fidelity or low-fidelity.
Feedback- The makers show the prototype to other team members, stakeholders, and end-user focus groups. Everyone reviews the design and usability before giving feedback.
Improvement- The feedback is utilized to improve the prototype. This cycle repeats until no changes are made or a cut-off is reached.
Benefits of Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping uses short cycles to quickly improve the core design which generates progress.
Improving Core Features
This emphasis ensures time and resources are spent where they will have the greatest impact and keeps the design phase focused.
Interactive prototypes allow real users to test key customer journeys and provide feedback.
Prototyping enables everyone involved with the project to collaborate and provide feedback.
Reduces Project Risk
The low cost of prototyping compared to development means teams that use rapid prototyping reduce their project risk.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke