Prototyping is like a superhero on a critical two-fold mission: 1. To allow designers to evaluate their concepts without going through the entire design cycle based on just assumptions, and 2. For the stakeholders to grow confident in the end result’s success. The prototyping process is critical because it provides a glimpse into the future.
Used to walk through a concept or idea, prototyping ultimately saves time and money in the development journey, try out your concept with target users, create a reference for your developers to clarify scope, and plan documentation for your project. Prototyping is a powerful stage in the design process with the purpose of gauging customer satisfaction and serving as the validation that leads to the desired result — a fully functional final product. At its core, prototyping makes a siloed design process a participatory one by showing “how-it-works.”
Without prototyping, you run the risk of over-designing or under-designing your product. As in, the final product could have unnecessary features, confusing workflows, poor user interface, or other problems. Prototyping before launch is key because it prevents costly errors by determining what needs to be fixed before development starts.