6 Steps of the Basic Prototyping Process

How we will prepare your product idea for the development
Fri Mar 09 2018
prototype-brocoders

One of the most frequent questions that our clients ask when hiring an outsourcing team is - How will the work process be organized? To clarify all the process, we decided to write a series of articles where we will tell you about our work process for every type of service we propose: prototyping, web development, and mobile development.

   This time we want to tell about the prototype building process.

   Prototyping - is an example that serves as a basis for future models. It allows to:

  • find the design issues at the early stage and prepare the best UI/UX;

  • use the prototype as a presentation tool for the potential clients and investors;

  • save your time and money and be able to start testing the idea at the early stage.

If you are thinking about becoming our client, we will tell you how it feels to build prototypes with Brocoders.

   The process of building a prototype can be divided into 6 steps. Let’s check what we do at every step:

1. Discussion. The first connection that you’ll have is our sales manager who will find out the initial requirements for your product. The sales manager will ask you the questions, like: What types of users will be there? What will be the user flow for each type of user? What are your business goals? Who are your main competitors and what’s your difference to them? Once the sales manager finds out the information above, we choose the manager that will be responsible for building a prototype for you. The choice of the manager depends on his/her experience of building prototypes with the similar workflow or in a similar industry. Also, it depends on the manager’s workload. Great communication is one of the most important things for us, so usually, our managers have no more than two or three projects at once. This allows them to give as much time to the prototyping as necessary.

2. Analysis and research. Once the manager has been assigned to your project, you’ll have an initial call with him. During the call, the manager will ask the questions he needs to clarify before starting the prototype. During this stage, the manager will prepare detailed research on your main competitors. Also, he will define must-have features for an MVP and what monetization models will be a better choice for your product. In other words, the second phase is essential for finding effective solutions based on your business goals. 

3. In the next step, the manager will define the user persona and outline the users' journeys. Once he prepares all the information, you’ll have the materials and when everything is approved, we can move to the next step.

4. When all the requirements are collected, the manager will start building an interactive prototype. The tool that we use for prototyping is UXPin. It allows to create interactive prototypes that will be clickable and look like a real app. During the prototyping process, you’ll have daily check-up calls via Slack or Skype or any other preferable channel for you. These daily calls are necessary, as the manager will show you the work he’s done during the day. The manager will share the link to the prototype, and you can click on it and comment on it. 
We'd like to stress out that the cooperation at this stage is crucial. The more time you have to answer the manager's questions and the more time you spend for clicking through the prototype and leaving your feedbacks, the faster the work will go. It doesn't mean that you need to be online 24h/day, just a couple of hours a day will be enough. And on the contrary, if you disapper for a few weeks, the manger will have to make the important decisions himself and these decisions may not fit your business logics. As a result, it will take more time to change the prototype that has already been done.

5. Once the prototype is finished (it take 3-4 weeks depending on the complexity of the project and how ready you are to cooperate with the manager) and agreed with you, we give you the link to your prototype. Having the prototype, you can start testing. For doing that, you can create a landing page for the new product, using Instapage or any other similar service and attract the users there to test your prototype. To learn more about the ways of testing a prototype, we propose you to read the article How to Test the Usability of Prototypes Like a Pro. Testing is one of the crucial stages and it shouldn't be done in haste. The prototype can go through as many tests and changes as necessary for creating a perfect product. Once you've finished testing, you can return to us and we'll make all necessary changes according to the tests results.

6. Once you have a tested prototype and want to continue, you can go to the developers for estimation and start the development. Having your prototype, the developers will be able to give you an accurate estimation, predict the possible hardships, thus save not only your time but also the money. 

The necessity of prototyping may not be so obvious until you’ve done it. However, the more time you dedicate to planning the users’ flow, what features must be included and what design solutions should be found, the less time you’ll spend when it comes to the development. 

So, do you have an idea and want to test it? Drop us a line and let’s start working on your project together!

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