It's not always obvious why you should stop and prototype your ideas before developing them - especially if you have the ability to "jump right in" and start coding yourself.
But prototyping is an integral part of all successful software projects. It reduces costs and massively improving the chances of your project succeeding. It helps you get your idea from idea to customer in the shortest, least painful way possible:
Let's face it, there's no point in building software that no-one will ever use. Prototyping is the best way to validate whether your concept has real resonance with real people before investing in a long, potentially risky development phase. To start validating your ideas, use the 5 step framework for validating product ideas and match your solution to your customer's needs.
If you are a developer, it's night on impossible to design and develop at the same time. If you try, the quality of your product will suffer badly as a result. You owe it to yourself to give your product the best chance to succeed.
Agile development delivers software solutions quickly. User-centered design and prototyping identifies what problem to solve in the first place. Combined, they they help you build the right product faster.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a prototype is worth a thousand pictures. Prototyping give you the means to communicate interactive software requirements in a way that your team can understand. Before long, your project managers, developers and all of your stakeholders will be insisting on a prototype before starting development.
Mobile design is full of complexities. Prototyping lets you focus on your user's needs first and avoid having to think about technical complexities like pixels, points and resolutions and the mobile screen sizes that quickly cloud your path when you start to code.
Prototyping lets you get feedback from all the stakeholders in your organisation quickly and effectively.
Finally, prototyping helps you integrate user feedback right into your company roadmap. For maximum win!
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