It is a necessity for a business to constantly innovate as well as reinvent itself. This holds true especially in the area of mobile apps where cut throat competition forces developers to be on their toes constantly when it comes to development. Any new service or product introduced would need to be tested before being accepted.
However, in the case of a time poor and cash strapped situation, it would not be considered a wise decision to wait until the entire developmental stage is over before testing the app. This is where rapid prototyping can be of great help to app developers.
What is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is considered as an efficient way to develop and test new ideas in a very short span of time. It involves creating multiple prototypes of the design via appropriate programs. These prototypes would be accompanied by appropriate flows that need to be tested as the team progresses. This way, there would be plenty of time to take back feedback, make the necessary changes and update the version, and retest the same in a very short span of time.
Benefits of Rapid Prototyping
In addition to reducing the time taken to develop an app, rapid prototyping allows one to save plenty of money related testing and update features. There is no need for developers to spend entire weeks of developing an app and testing it in the end only to find potential errors that would force them back to the drawing board.
With rapid prototyping, developers can test their apps dozens of times in between a week or two, while still continuing on with the developmental phase. Rapid prototyping would allow these users to thus save plenty of time and money in testing and updating their apps.
Top 4 Programs and Techniques for Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping is made possible by appropriate programs and techniques that would allow users to create wireframes aka working prototypes to test. Here are 4 such programs that would be of great help to novices as well as experienced developers.
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This wireframe program is as powerful as it is simple. Easy to use and fast, Balasmiq offers developers a range of built in web patterns, screen sizes, icons and other tools to choose from. These options would help even a novice come up with a robust prototype for testing purposes as well as aid in creating a strong development process for the company.
This HTML5 web app does not need any prior experience for one to understand it. It allows developers to use built in web patterns, buttons, symbols and icons, etc. to create websites for apps. It also provides hotspot buttons that can be used to link all these elements in a single, navigable architectural framework. High on the interactive front, Moqups would allow developers to build prototypes for their apps quickly and rather easily.
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Marvel allows for a simple and yet robust prototyping platform by offering to turn simple paper sketches into interactive prototypes that can then be shared among creative team members. The tappable prototypes are also .psd compatible, meaning there is no need to convert them before uploading. The continuous update feature running in the background also cuts down testing time significantly. A realistic prototyping experience can also be enjoyed with custom animations and device simulations.
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This rapid prototyping program lets developers take pictures of their hand drawn sketches and link the same to their device for testing. The program also offers options to create a prototype from scratch while allowing the developers to test their hand drawn sketches on any Android or iOS device.
Rapid prototyping helps developers cut costs related to testing and updating their apps. It allows developers to create mini versions of their designs via rapid prototyping programs allow them to run tests and updates on a real time basis during the development phase itself.