RAPID PROTOTYPING - BENEFITS
"A Picture speaks a thousand words " is rightly said. Using visuals to describe a thousand words is what the user interface prototype is all about.
What is Rapid Interactive Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping can be defined as a repeated web design process that improves the user experience of your designs. In general terms, it can also be defined as the process of quickly sketching the desirable outcome of the UI of a webpage, web-app or mobile app. This process helps to generate feedbacks quickly, by improving the final design thus reducing the need for alterations during the actual programming of the system. Also, this improves communication with clients by saving money and time.
What is involved with Rapid Interactive Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping involves multiple repetitions of a three-step process. These steps are repeated until a solution is found that fits the web designer and the clients.
This is the interpretation of the project, where the web-designer starts with an established design pattern. After talking to the clients, the first mockup of the system is shaped with the good user experience.
A solution that can be reviewed and tested.
This is the evaluation stage, where the target audience can get their hands on the design and find out if it's appealing. Feedbacks are received and web designers can watch as how they interact with the prototype. One of the important components of this stage is "A/B Testing". The testers are shown in two variants. One design has to be chosen and stated as to why they made such a decision. This evaluation helps the web designers to analyze as what's working and what's not.
Sharing and evaluating the prototype to meet their needs and expectations.
This is the final stage, where the data has to be put into practice. Elements are clarified, defined and additional functionalities are added. These small iterations are sent back and forth between the designers and the clients which can be done quickly. The actual time taken for the completion of the project depends on its size and complexity.
Refine, Define and Clarify
How much detail should be prototyped?
Pareto's principle states that, for many events, 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the causes. This can be applied here. Focus on the key functionality that will be used most of the time, i.e. 20% of the functionality that will be used 80% of the time. Rapid prototyping is to show how a design will work and how will the design look like without prototyping the entire product.
Is prototyping important?
Rapid prototyping has many advantages over other design approaches:
Better communications of design: A prototype is much easier to understand. Gathering feedback on the design is easier if everyone can see how the design works with their own eyes. This shares a common understanding as to how the product would look and work.
Save time by less documentation: In order to have a better understanding of the designs, prototypes are used by developers. Rather than writing a set of wireframes, a less description text for prototype can be used by the designers.
Experimentation: Multiple ideas and approaches can be experimented using rapid prototyping. Discussions through visual format are the fastest way to get them engaged to the information. Eventually, this leads to better, faster design.
Rapid prototyping can put your team to success. This helps to save a lot of money and time down the road. Keep in mind, the one simple golden rule: "More the prototypes you test, better the solution will be".