What is Software Prototyping - The Ultimate Guide


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What is Software Prototyping – The Ultimate Guide

There used to be a time when entrepreneurs only needed a few graphs and some well-designed presentation slides to impress investors. But industries have evolved and investors of today need to see a working model and how it will be applied in everyday scenarios to address the customer’s needs. A prototype can provide them with a solid idea of the application, its features, strengths, weaknesses, growth potential, and associated risk. Software prototyping helps parties make an informed decision before investing. Many venture capitalists consider the prototype to be similar to a working MVP and are more inclined to invest based on its value.

What is Software Prototyping?

Software prototyping refers to developing a working model of the application with the basic functionality. These prototypes do not necessarily follow the same logic used by the actual software application. The software publisher can better evaluate the product and make sure it is fulfilling its intended purpose. The manufacturers have a better idea of what the final product will look like before they invest additional resources such as employees, time, and money into developing a full-scale version of it.

If you are looking for software prototyping services, do one of these two things

The Software Prototyping Model – Step by Step

The Software Prototyping Model

1- Identifying the basic requirements:

This step requires the team to understand the basic product requirements regarding the user interface. The software publisher will determine the functionality, their target market for users, and what the user will get out of the product.

2- Working on the initial prototype:

The developer will take the requirements provided by the publisher into consideration and assemble a model based on them. They decide what the finished product should look like.

3- Reviewing the prototype:

Once the development process is completed, it is presented to potential customers and stakeholders involved in the project for review. Their feedback is collected and organized to assist with the further development of the product.

4- Improving the prototype:

The final step in the process is making revisions according to the feedback received from customers, beta-testers, and publishers.

Types of Software Prototyping

Rapid Throwaway

This is a useful software prototyping technique that allows developers to explore ideas and get user feedback for each one. In this method, the developed prototype will not necessarily have to be a part of the final version. The benefits of prototyping for software engineering are that customer feedback helps remove any unnecessary design faults and the presented prototype version is of much superior quality.


Evolutionary is the type of software prototyping where the product is improved in increments based on the user feedback until it is finally in a condition to be accepted Compared to Rapid Throwaway prototyping, this is a much better approach because it saves development time and costs. Developing a prototype from scratch from every revision can be very frustrating for developers and the Evolutionary model saves them from it.


Incremental software prototyping requires the final product to be broken down into several smaller parts. Each portion of the prototype is developed separately, and the pieces come together in the final development stage. The different prototypes are collectively combined into a single final product using the predefined order. The time duration between the beginning of the project and the final delivery is very small because all parts of the system are prototypes in themselves and the testing is conducted simultaneously. There is the risk of parts not working well together due to some oversight in the development process. However, this can be amended with careful consideration and planning the entire software prototyping process before beginning working in increments.


The extreme prototyping method is usually reserved for web development. It consists of three independent phases that occur sequentially. The first phase consists of basic software prototyping with the existing static pages presented in an HTML format. The second phase is where functional screens are made using data simulations through the prototype services layer. The final step is where all services are implemented and the final prototype comes into shape.

The extreme method improves the project lifecycle and helps deliver a robust and fast system. The entire development team can focus on centralized products instead of working on all the possible needs. The detailed specifications as well as adding unnecessary features are skipped with this type of software prototyping.

If you are looking for software prototyping services, do one of these two things

Benefits of Prototyping in Software Engineering

When working on a software idea, teams are talking in theory and although they may have a fool-proof plan, there is additional work required to make it a guaranteed success. Validating ideas through software prototyping can help achieve reassurance. These prototypes provide stakeholders with an idea of how far they need to go to perfect their final product. It is easier for clients to understand the software concept, even if the idea is complex in theory. The process also helps them streamline the product and remove any useless features or functions.

Advantages of Software Prototyping

  • The end-user has more involvement in the development process which allows errors to be detected in the earlier stages of the software lifecycle.
  • It is easier to identify any missing functionality which is necessary for reducing the risk of failure. Software prototyping is considered a risk reduction measure.
  • Team members can communicate more effectively.
  • The customer satisfaction rate is higher because they can see the product and interact with it from the beginning.
  • The chances of software rejection are minimized.
  • User feedback is much quicker and it helps teams achieve better software development solutions.
  • The clients can compare the software code with the software specifications before the project ends.
  • It helps identify the missing functionality existing in the system.
  • Any complex or difficult functions can be identified early on.
  • Software prototyping makes designing flexible and innovative.
  • The types of software prototyping and their models are easy to understand.
  • It is not necessary to hire any specialized experts to build the model.
  • Prototypes provide the basis for deriving system specifications.
  • It helps gain a much better understanding of the customer and their needs.
  • It is easier to change or scrap a prototype.
  • They serve as the foundation for operational specifications.
  • Prototypes provide early training for future users of the software system.

Disadvantages of Software Prototyping

  • It can be expensive in terms of time and money.
  • There might be a lot of variation in requirements after every evaluation of the prototype by the customer.
  • Documentation is poor and unorganized because users’ requirements are continuously changing.
  • It is difficult for developers to include all changes demanded by clients and users.
  • An uncertainty is introduced in determining the number of iterations that are required before the prototype is finalized and accepted by the customer.
  • Customers can often time demand for the actual product to be delivered earlier after seeing the first version of the prototype.
  • Developers are often in a rush to complete software prototyping and might end up with sub-standard solutions.
  • The customers can lose interest in the product if they are not satisfied with the initial versions of the prototypes.


No client wants a model that will not be useful to them in the end. Software prototyping is a go-to strategy for any industry. The benefits of prototyping in software engineering are that it helps reduce risks, save money and increase customer satisfaction. Those that prefer to test their ideas in other ways can turn to Minimum Viable Products or other alternatives. Although, the model is not without flaws setting rules and guidelines can help make it a success.

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