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Rapid Prototyping

What is rapid prototyping?

Rapid Prototyping refers to the development of a project in an iterative, rather than linear progression. Instead of taking a waterfall method which includes linear decisions and no forward progression until a prior step is completed, rapid prototyping focuses on quickly and holistically preparing a prototype with testing throughout the development process. This process is repeated until the final version is completed. Rapid prototyping is similar to “guess and check” mathematics in that one makes a prototype and checks to see how it is received by users.

Benefits of rapid prototyping

The main benefit of rapid prototyping is that this enables developers to get more feedback on their designs from potential users and other stakeholders. The placement of buttons on a website, especially e-commerce ones, may be the difference between a conversion and drop-out. Using rapid prototyping allows for prototypes to be produced quickly with minimal costs. With usability testing, feedback can be used to modify and optimize a website or software application. This contrasts to the waterfall method in which testing or simulation only occurrs after programming.

How to conduct rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping is simple and does not always require knowledge of programming. With some prototyping tools, interactive prototypes can be created. A prototype can be produced with prototyping software, often by moving elements into a virtual canvas. Some prototypes are made up of several screens that are linked together. In simulation, usability experts can analyze how users respond to these designs. The prototype can then be optimized and this cycle is repeated until the software or website design fulfills the adequate purpose.

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