January 25, 2018 James Burke

High Fidelity Prototyping

Critical parts of user-centered design, such as prototyping and usability testing, are often misunderstood and may appear to increase the cost of a Web project. But these design methods actually have their legitimacy in cost effective development. Though they add a few percent to the development expenses up-front, they can reduce the cost of making changes due to unanticipated client and user requirements by 10 to 100 times.

Prototyping can save you both time and money because it’s a fast and inexpensive way to convey behaviors, what a requirement specification fails to do. Since prototypes can visualize the product’s workings to the client, you can deal with the shortcomings and misconceptions that tend to appear as the site, tablet or mobile app takes form.

The full benefits of prototyping include:

  • Prototypes allow us to show fast results to the client
  • Prototyping legalizes experimentation and many revisions because it’s inexpensive to alter
  • Prototypes are easy to grasp because they simulate how the final site, tablet or mobile app will work
  • They can work as a common reference, and bring a disparate team together
  • Users, developers and the clients will focus on content, structure and functionality, and will not be distracted by the details of graphic design
  • Prototypes make it possible to get a formal approval of the design from both programmers and the client before you proceed to the development stage
  • They make it possible to start usability testing at an early stage in the development process
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