Methods of Prototyping
Below is a sampling of traditional and modern methods of prototyping. A developer needs to carefully assess diverse methods of prototyping to pick one that will work best for their project.
Sketches and Diagrams
Sketching is one of the oldest of prototyping and allows the developer to express their ideas through simple or intricate illustrations.
Developers can create paper models to represent their product or design. Creating a paper model allows for usability testing, under the assumption that the user will interact with the paper as they would with a real application.
Clay/plasticine models are simple to use and adjust until the desired shape is sculpted.
Digital prototypes are one of the most common forms of prototyping. One advantage of digital prototypes is that they are often realistic enough to accurately test the elements of a product or design. They are easy to produce and can be built using apps and software. Virtual and Augmented Reality software have also been used in the creation of prototypes. This guide will focus on Augmented Reality and you’ll be on a journey to explore and discover some AR apps and how to use them.
This method is often used by developers with the ability to code. An HTML prototype can be tested virtually on any device and the user won’t need to run any external software.
3D printing provides a developer with extreme flexibility in terms of speed and material selection. It allows manufacturing of low to medium performance objects at a low cost but is unsuitable for mass production. It is considered an additive manufacturing method, as material is added until a specific shape is achieved. Depending on the level of accuracy, there are different kinds of 3D printing process available: Fused deposition modeling (FDM)’ stereo lithography (SLA); and selective laser sintering (SLS).