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Prototyping is the process of turning ideas into a more concrete form. What will the finished solution look like? How will it work?

A prototype is usually built when a service or a product concept is ready to be evaluated in practice. A concept is still just an idea, which may not only be full of logical errors but may also be understood differently by different people. A prototype is, therefore, a way of checking whether an idea would work in practice and ensuring that everyone understands the concept the same way.

The form and style of a prototype vary according to need. A prototype can be a sketch drawn on paper or, for example, a piece of working software. The strength of more advanced prototypes is that they can easily spot potential flaws in the working logic.

Prototyping ensures that the concept is understood

In principle, it does not make sense for the prototyping phase to attempt to create the first version of the final software. Prototyping aims to shape the idea and ensure things are in the right places.

Several tools, programming languages, and services can be used to create a prototype. SaaS platforms, among others, are popular options. We can produce very sophisticated prototypes with suitable nocode or lowcode services. 

It is good to keep in mind that the data models, or the possibilities in general, may not be entirely conceptual, error-proof, or secure. A clever team will tap into a well-described concept, specify the technical requirements, and test it in a very nimble way.

Saving on prototyping is not worth it because it is ultimately about risk management. No one wants to pour thousands of euros into software development only to find that this software does not connect A and B in the desired way because C is missing.

Both prototyping and conceptualization of off-the-shelf solutions can be publicly funded.