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Prototyping Model

What is Prototyping Model?

Prototyping model is one of the risk reduction models.
Prototyping model involves prototyping approach. The prototyping approach usually involves building a small version of the intended system prior to building the proposed complete system. This small version of the intended system is known as prototype.

The prototype has certain characteristics. These are as follows:
• A prototype should be a temporary system.
• A prototype should be able to be designed rapidly.
• A prototype should provide a tangible or visual expression of a proposed system.

Prototyping gives developers an opportunity to work out the kinks in the specification and design of the system before its full-scale development is attempted. It helps in reducing the risk of development. It represents an experimental method for obtaining an understanding of a proposed system for the user and the developer.
Prototyping can be exploratory prototyping, experimental prototyping, evolutionary prototyping, embedded prototyping, horizontal prototyping. According to Nielsen, prototyping is also classified as low-fidelity prototyping and high-fidelity prototyping. According to Lichter, prototyping can be classified according to their usefulness as presentation prototypes, breadboards, mock-ups and pilot systems.

Advantages of Prototyping Model

There are various benefits of prototyping model. They are as follows:

• It helps in gaining important feedback from users early in the development process.
• It provides a common baseline for users and developers to identify problems and opportunities.
• It motivates user involvement.
• It helps to prevent misunderstanding between users and developers.
• It strengthens working relationship between the users and developers.

Prototype acts as a reference point for both users and designers by which problems and opportunities can be identified early in the development process. The interaction between developers and users that occurs as a result of discussions of the prototype enhances the working relationship between users and developers.

Disadvantages of Prototyping Model

There are disadvantages of prototyping model as well. They are as below:
• It can lead users to overestimate the capabilities of a software product.
• It can lead to difficulties in project management and control.
• It can cause difficulty in applying the technique to large systems design.
• It can cause potential difficulties in maintaining necessary user interest.

The below diagram depicts the work flow for prototyping model: