A successful prototype requires proper planning and validation. Before building a prototype companies should consider the following:
- Factor time and resources for the prototype into the project plan.
Developing a prototype will add time for both developers and designers, and the project plan should allocate the necessary resources and include these costs. Plan for an iterative approach of designer feedback and developer revision. Doing so can help quickly determine the availability of proper prototyping resources. The phases of the project may need to be delayed in order to obtain the appropriate resources.
- Incorporate end-user prototype testing, validation and quality assurance as key milestones in the project plan.
Of all the tasks in the project plan, the areas that are cut when time becomes an issue are quality assurance and end-user testing. Allowing adequate time to prepare and design a prototype as well as setting up end-user testing is vital to the quality of the site or application. Make sure they are key milestones in the project plan that require validation in order to pass versus simply adding the tasks as additional “scope” in the project.