Think of a software prototype as a scale building model that is used in architectural design projects. When it comes to large buildings, architects invariably build a scale model to give stakeholders a better understanding of what the end product will look like. A blueprint may not be enough.
While an architectural scale model is a sophisticated prototype, a software prototype might not always be this extensive but it serves the same purpose. A software prototype is needed to gather early feedback making it easier (and cheaper) to make necessary changes at the start rather than a few months down the line after the development team has fully coded the application
Why does prototyping matter for custom software development?
A software prototype is worth 1000 meetings. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but it still conveys the importance of creating a software design wireframe before entering into coding.
A prototype is an essential first step in the development process of creating a web software or mobile app. Designers, developers, stakeholders, and even end users can review the user flow and design and address pain points in advance.
Prototyping is the third stage in design thinking and the first step from the development side. The different stages in design thinking are
- Research users’ needs: Empathize
- What will your product solve: Define
- Brainstorm ways to meet these needs: Ideate
- Experiment through trial and error: Prototype
- Show users a prototype for feed