What is Rapid prototyping?

Rapid prototyping is a process by which small-scale models of a product or application are developed and tested before large-scale production begins; customers can create simulations that allow users to interact with your product and gain feedback. Rapid prototyping allows product managers to test out new ideas on customers without expending precious product development resources. Observing what works and what doesn’t for your potential customers is invaluable to creating products that match their needs.

How does a prototype work?

A prototype is a fully functioning version of the product that is, for all practical purposes, indistinguishable from the final product and provides valuable feedback from real users. The purpose of a prototype is to allow users to interact with a product and offer feedback. Rapid prototyping is the process of quickly putting together an early version of a product to learn how people interact with it. Key to this process is how quickly a prototype can be made, what kind of feedback you get from the audience, and how fast the iterations update accordingly.

To collect organic feedback, users should not be aware that they are interacting with a prototype; the prototype needs to be as realistic as possible. Real UX expertise and software development must be utilised to create a realistic and valuable prototype. Creating a fully functioning prototype can be time consuming, project managers can create a wireframe based prototype to save spending too much time creating the prototype. For product teams looking for a middle ground between wireframes and fully functioning prototypes, clickable HTML prototypes can be produced quickly and easily with various design and development tools.

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