Prototyping for the success of innovation

An article from the field of software development, projects
Jan Hosemann
Jan Hosemann

At the beginning of each development process, there is the need to create a mutual imagination for the final product and to identify technical issues that may appear during the development. To simplify these procedures, prototypes of different dimensions are created. But a valuable prototype offers more than just a first visualization of the idea – placed smartly it may convince investors or potential customers and it also can be of help in creating a better final result.

From the users point of view the core features of a desired software program might be explained in a few sentences, but that doesn´t mean that all of the involved persons are on the same page about the final product.

Prototypes - like small pieces of software or advanced “click-dummys” - that cover some of the critical features of the application, are in such situations of big help for the customer as well as for the developer. On the one hand, a prototype can create a more accurate picture of the final product and on the other hand, using a prototype, the developer is able to evaluate more easily the realization, the technical feasibility and the estimated effort for the actual development. And the good part is, that the effort to create a prototype is low compared to the effort to develop the actual application. Furthermore weak points can be identified earlier in the development process and functionalities can be reviewed. Plus due to the early user tests and the resulting improvements of the concept, costs can be saved. The earlier bugs are tracked down and the earlier concept changes are made, the cheaper the actual development will be. And because of the lower complexity of a prototype (compared to a “real” software program), changes can be easily made – without undesired side effects. This way it´s possible to improve the concept iteratively according to the customer feedback. The more innovative the idea, the more important the prototyping.

Destination Prototype

We at Cap3 are convinced by the several advantages of prototyping. As an example, we developed a prototype application for PPI AG as a showcase for the new payment method “Instant Payment”. In such a case, where it´s about the revolution of modern payment, developing a prototype in order to evaluate technical feasibility and usability is a smart first move.

Also when the idea is pretty abstract and not clearly defined in the beginning, developing a prototype makes sense in most cases. Like in the case of the mobile app with augmented reality feature (AR) we developed for “goodway Werbedesign”. Developing a showcase App for the AR feature in the first place made it possible to clarify the concept and to test the feature in advance.

We´re happy to assist you too in visualizing your idea in the shape of a prototype!

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