What is Rapid Prototyping?

What is Rapid Prototyping?

If a picture tells a thousand words, then an interactive prototype tells 10 thousand…which is coincidentally the length of your detailed business requirements documentation.

The Challenge
Technology ecosystems are continuously becoming more complex. Software is aging and needing to be replaced or re-designed to meet changing user expectations. While our screens sizes have shrunk for many interactions, we’re using a variety of screens and software all day. Designing for these variations and keeping it all straight is tough, especially between the business and technologists.

Don’t let the complexity stop you from exploring solutions when you can start prototyping. Rapid prototyping allows you to design the optimal experience for your customers, assess the technology and complexity of enabling it, sooner and with less investment.

What is it though?
An interactive design tactic to test and validate solutions with customers, stakeholders, and technologists. A common method used within Human Centered Design.

  • Interactive – a digital representation, mimics the functionality of a web or mobile application including site structure, navigation, and page layouts
  • Inclusive – a collaborative process which includes customers, stakeholders, technologists, designers, and their expertise
  • Iterative – a whiteboard or sketch and evolves into a set of low-fidelity, clickable, navigable screens which evolve until ready to be built

What do you do with it?
Share it and revise it, repeatedly. A prototype can standalone for someone to interact with, but it benefits from being presented and using a narrative to explain the thinking which went into the design and how it improves the user experience. While the design should speak for itself and be intuitive for customers, stakeholders and technologists will have detailed questions you’ll want to hear and answer.

When does this approach work best?

  • When the solution requires establishing alignment on the most risky, ambiguous, or complex parts of a solution
  • When the organization is experiencing challenges in delivery because of unclear or “missed” requirements
  • When needing to align on a Minimum Viable Product
  • When customers, stakeholders, and technologists are all engaged
  • When working in an agile environment and with Product Management
  • When you engage a full service firm with UX and technology capabilities

Want to understand how Rapid Prototyping can be used to benefit your business? Reach out to Alex Foucre-Stimes

1 Comment

  • Paul February 10, 2017 4:42 am

    Keeping up is a massive challenge in this industry and clients knowledge is also far behind meaning we have even more of a PITCH when it comes to the lower volume production.

    I enjoyed this, thanks for putting it out there

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