From Concept to Reality: The Power of Prototyping in Testing Your Project’s Hypothesis

What is prototyping?

Prototyping is the process of creating a preliminary version of a product or its part, which is used to test the concept, functionality, user interaction, design, and other aspects of the product. Prototyping can be done at different stages of product development, starting from the idea stage and ending with final stages before launching the product to the market when changes can still be made without incurring significant costs. It is based on data about the industry and business sector for which the prototype is being developed. The prototype consists of screens (mockups) that look like a finished product. They are interactive, meaning you can click on buttons, follow links, and more. This provides a clear understanding of what your product will look like when released.


What does prototyping offer?

Prototyping allows you to show a nearly finished product in the form of a prototype to potential customers and significantly save time and money by showcasing the business idea of the project before development begins. A prototype can accurately estimate the cost of development, so you don’t have to worry about the price change during the process.


What is prototyping made of?

  • Defining the target audience is the first step. It is essential to understand who will use the product or service, anticipate which functions they may need, what difficulties they may encounter while interacting with our product, and what can leave a positive impression. Depending on the target audience, the team is tasked with different objectives since each user has their own motivation, fears, level of financial security, and so on. The better the understanding of the target audience for whom the prototype is being made, the better the resulting product.


  • The next step is building user scenarios. A user scenario is a sequence of steps that users take on their way to achieving a specific goal. They are necessary to identify essential and problematic areas of the interface. User scenarios are thought out by designers who set several key goals, assuming what users can do with the service (for example, order food delivery). All user steps needed to achieve this goal are recorded. The scenarios take the form of a map of screens that depict and break down all possible actions.


  • Market analysis is also essential. Creating a successful product can only be achieved by taking into account the successful experiences of predecessors. Therefore, designers choose the best from other already successful projects and consider how they can apply it when creating their products. If there are no analogues for your project in the past, then a review is conducted in related fields. For example, if there were no successful projects in cargo transportation before, try to find successful products for calling a taxi.


  • Design At this stage, an analyst is necessary. Together with the development team, they deeply explore the business domain for which the project is being created. As a result, the team has a clearer and more precise understanding of what the customer and user need, why they need it, and whether the user will get the expected result.


  • Functional Design During design sessions, the analyst listens to the customer and developers. They capture explicit and implicit desires for the final product and help convey to the development team what needs to be done to satisfy those desires. The analyst also collects the necessary data for their work, describing user types (target audience), their quantity, interaction scenarios, usage difficulties, and other factors that may affect the end result of the user’s interaction with the product.


  • Technical Design Functional design is about how the page or project will behave as a whole. Technical design is about how everything works internally. It is done by a specialist with a technical background and experience working with systems that match your project. This can be a systems analyst, backend developer, architect, or mobile developer.

Technical design helps to understand what needs to be done and how: what modules are in the system and what needs to be added, what technologies to use, what needs to be included in the API, and so on. If technical solutions are not evaluated during the prototyping stage, this will have to be done during the design development stage or at the end of it.

This can lead to a number of problems, and the project itself will need to be repeatedly revised and improved due to the mismatches of various modules, functions, APIs, and other components. This can significantly complicate the development process, time, and cost.

Well-coordinated work of important team members, such as a designer, analyst, and technical specialist, will help avoid most problems at the prototyping stage and, as a result, throughout the development process.


What should be achieved?

  • An interactive prototype. There are no external signs of the final product (corporate colours, illustrations, animations), but from the interface, it is clear what the user will be able to do on each screen. Designers link screens using special services such as Marvel or InVision. These services simulate the operation of buttons and show transitions between screens. The prototype can be tested on real users and receive feedback from them.
  • Functional structure of the application. A list of all the data on which a detailed plan for further project development and prototyping can be created, and all changes and wishes can be included in the estimate.
  • Technical and functional specification. This is a set of documentation that accumulates, structures and describes all the information obtained during the design process.


Technical and functional specifications address all questions about the structure and functioning of the project. With them, you can go to any contractor and be sure that your task will be understood without distortion and that a precise estimate can be made. Documentation is a tangible result of the stage, and after its acceptance, an act of completed work is signed.