What is Prototype Model in Software Engineering?
Prototyping is the mother of invention. It is not a new concept rather it is a century-old concept. Inventors used to create basic prototype model way back as well to understand how to make the final product. The Wright brothers created the first airplane. If you compare it with today’s airplane, you would say it was a prototype.
Evolutionary prototyping led to many experiments and today a prototype for a software development model is also created. Our Mobile app development agency creates prototypes to develop the product per the client’s needs. Well, this is the purpose of the final prototype to find what is not taken care of during development and how to make the product more user-friendly.
Developers can find the missing functionality in the developed prototype so that they will not be seen in the actual software. You will get to know the types, phases, pros, and cons of a prototype and the difference between MVP and Prototype.
What Is a Prototype Model?
It is a model in which the prototype of a product is developed. A prototype is an incomplete product or you can say it has fewer functionalities, basic features, and an outline of the product yet to be made. It helps in knowing customer requirements early so developers can implement them while working on the software development.
Customer feedback and customer evaluation are considered for developing a prototype for better understanding. It helps to know the basic requirements of the clients for the product. The prototype serves many purposes to make a complete system impeccably. Often people get confused between prototype and MVP (Minimum Viable Product). The prototype has no features (A little bit), functionalities, and no working functions. It is just a drawing on paper or online systems.
MVP has enough features but not all like the final system or software. However, unlike the prototype, it has some working functions. You can find out the interest of your customers and whether they would like the product or not before the completion of the final software.
Businesses want different types of apps and websites so the user interfaces and functions of their products also look different. It leads to variations in building prototypes as well. So, you have to analyze your idea first for prototype development. If you have a new app idea to make money, this post will help you.
Types of a Prototyping Model
There are mainly 4 types of prototyping models. Let’s scroll down to know them in detail.
- Rapid throwaway prototyping
- Evolutionary prototyping
- Incremental prototyping
- Extreme prototyping
1. Rapid Throwaway Prototyping
A rapid throwaway prototype is developed based on customer feedback and eliminatory requirements. You can skip this step but if you want no mistakes in the web development, go for it. It is helpful for specific development, but not included in the final product. That is why it is called a throwaway prototype.
2. Evolutionary Prototyping
Since it is evolutionary, developers have to refine the initial prototype by analyzing user requirements. Developers keep on considering customers’ feedback regarding design, functions, and user interface until it is completed finally. They have to work on every task from scratch and make changes for improvements. It takes more time than required and is sometimes frustrating for the developers.
3. Incremental Prototyping
In this model, the final product is broken into pieces of the prototype. Then developers work on each piece individually. When they are done completing all the prototypes, developers merge them to prepare a final product. But for this, a refined structure is followed. It impeccably prototypes in an impeccable way. Our on-demand app development company often uses this method to reduce the complexity of the project.
4. Extreme Prototyping
The extreme prototyping model is used for web development. It is made up of three sequential phases. Let’s know them in the space below.
- This is the first phase and includes all the static pages presented in HTML format
- In the second phase, developers have to create functional screens with simulated data processes using the prototype services layer.
- In this final phase, developers have to integrate and implement services with the final prototype.
These were the 4 types of the prototyping model. When you create strategies for designing your Android application, you have to study these prototypes carefully to choose one. If you hire developers, they will do the same for your product.
Phases of Basic Prototyping Model
The prototyping model can be different for different app ideas, but some basic features remain in all the prototypes. If you are clear about the basic idea of data processing and development, dealing with difficult functions becomes easy. Know the basic features that you will need in every prototype to develop an actual system.
- Initial Investigation
- System Design
1. Initial Investigation
initial investigation is related to gathering information about the software to be developed. This initial stage includes analyzing similar apps and websites and checking what can be different in your product. It is a basic investigation but crucial to move ahead with further steps.
To come up with better solutions, you need to gather requirements for the software. The prototype model begins with the requirement analysis process. Different research methods are used to find what customers want to see in a system. Interviews with customers help in the minimum requirement analysis. Requirements prevent large-scale failures of the entire system.
3. System Design
You must have got an idea of what I am going to talk about in this step. Yes, here you have to decide on the system designs and features. Quicker user feedback and requirement analysis in the previous step help. But, these are not complete designs because they change if there is a need for improvement.
Once you know what to include in the app and what would be functions, you can move to the next step which is coding or development. It is not for the entire product, rather it’s only for the prototype developed. It would not be in the same manner you do actual coding for the final product but it’s an important step.
Now comes prototype testing. It is vital to ensure that whatever you are building will work properly or not. Testing helps you find issues in the product you have developed. If required, you can again get customer feedback, discuss with leaders, analyze the mistakes and improve your product.
After a prototype is developed, it is presented to customers and other stakeholders involved in a project for review. It helps to find what customers liked and disliked about the product so that you work on them and in future prototypes, you will not make such mistakes.
After reviewing, next comes implementing what your customers and stakeholders want. Implementation will again make you go through the steps, system design, coding, and testing. You may have to implement things many times until improvement in the product.
Last comes maintenance. For the prototype itself, routine maintenance is crucial otherwise there can be a difference between the prototype and the final product. Everything is maintained from internal functions to the look and feel of the product.
When you create software, you check all the steps. A prototype is just a small part of the entire software development process. Check out how to create an app in 10 steps to know more about app development.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Prototype Models
The prototyping model has some pros and cons. I have presented the crucial ones below. Have look.
- It reduces the cost of the final software product
- A prototype helps to detect images at the early stage
- It helps to understand the system better
- Customers feedback makes it easy to develop user-friendly product
- Save from the last-minute disaster on the software
- Missing functionality can be identified
- Effective for online systems
- Continuously changing customer requirements
- Misunderstanding regarding the final product
- The scope of the system can expand beyond the original plan
- Many variations in requirements
- The prototyping model is costly
Prototyping is a must for those products which require customer feedback and flexible product. It reduces the number of final product errors and helps make an impeccable and effective software solution. Since continuous changes are required, it can expand the time needed for development. So, analyze whether your product needs a prototype or not. You can also consult with our mobile app development agency.
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