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Let's talk about prototyping

Jerry Cao
By Jerry Cao on 29th June, 2009 Updated on 22nd March, 2016

    Let’s talk about prototyping

    While working as a programmer many times I had to guess what client thinks about. Unfortunately, the specification does not reflect the reality of how the functions should work. This causes lots of problems. First of all, it triggers multiple adjustments, as the customer’s vision is completely different from the vision of the developer.

    Fortunately there is a way to improve creating applications and avoid unnecessary (and sometimes time-consuming) amendments. This method is called prototyping.

    Prototypes enable showing a vision of how various features and the whole application will look like. They allow the client to set everything as he wants it in the initial phase, and facilitate the subsequent stages of the creation of the site.

    I had the opportunity to create a service using the guidelines provided in the prototype. I must admit that supplied the prototype has proved extremely useful and significantly accelerated creation of applications for a simple reason – no unnecessary questions were asked as well as multiple amendments were avoided.

    As prototypes are so useful what are the ways of their creation? There are several methods, each radically different from another. Each has some advantages and disadvantages, will take a look at them.

    PowerPoint – the use of presentation.

    It was one of methods used at our company.

    The service sketch is created in an application for creating presentations. It’s strange, but effective. It turns out that a lot of people use this prototyping method.

    You can guess the process of creating a prototype in such application looks like. Despite its apparent simplicity and ease of use this method has a significant disadvantage – every time you need to send the resulting file to the client so that they can watch it. Moreover if the prototype needs amendments you must repeat the entire cycle.

    Sheet of paper – the traditional way.

    IMHO the most funny way to do it. The entire prototype is sketched on a sheet(s) of paper. Do I need to explain how this method seems to be ridiculous for several reasons? The smallest error in the prototype requires recreating it anew. On top of that, sending such a model to a client is quite problem.

    Surprisingly Corel used to create paper prototypes, which later were used to test usability. On YouTube you can find a video presenting such a test. I believe that after watching this film there’s no need to mention the deficiencies of such method.

    JustProto.com – a new approach to prototyping!

    I am proud to introduce on my blog the product in creation of which I had the opportunity to participate. I am talking about justproto.com – tool for online prototyping.

    What are the main advantages of our solution? First of all: simplicity. Everything we do is simple because we do not want our users to spend hours learning our tool. Everything has to be intuitive no time lost on getting to know the new environment.

    What’s more? Prototypes developed in JustProto are interactive. This means that you can create prototype with dynamic links between the pages.

    The online prototype it is available from everywhere, without installing any additional applications.

    One of the most important advantages is the creating of a online HTML prototype preview. You simply give your client the link and he will be able to keep track of changes made in the prototype just with refreshing the screen.

    JustProto features a free plan and 30 day trial for all other plans. However, if its not enough for you, just contact me (natalia@desmart.com) and I will proivde you a promotional code, to upgrade to 60 days trial.

    If you are interested in prototypes try JustProto now!

    Jerry Cao

    by Jerry Cao

    Jerry Cao is a content strategist at UXPin where he gets to put his overly active imagination to paper every day. In a past life, he developed content strategies for clients at Brafton and worked in traditional advertising at DDB San Francisco. In his spare time he enjoys playing electric guitar, watching foreign horror films, and expanding his knowledge of random facts. Follow him on Twitter.

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