Prototyping is the rapid development and testing of working models, or prototypes, of new applications in an interactive, iterative process that can be used by both systems analysts and end user. It refers to an initial stage of a software release in which developmental evolution and product fixes may occur before a bigger release is initiated. The word prototype comes from the Latin words proto, meaning original, and types, meaning form or model.
Prototyping makes the development process faster and easier for system analysts, especially for projects where end-user requirements are hard to define. Thus, prototyping is sometimes called rapid application design (RAD).
You will need to pay attention to these four key components of prototyping and testing, no matter what method you choose to utilize:
- People – including those whom you are testing and the observers
- Objects – static and interactive, including the prototype and other objects the people and/or prototype interact/s with
- Location – places and environments
- Interactions – digital or physical, between people, objects and the location.