UI Prototype – An Important Step in Custom Software Development Process

UI Prototype-Texas Software-Austin & Houston

Introduction

The Custom Software Development process has evolved over the period.  The development team leverages the software development process to outline, design, develop, test, and eventually deploy information systems or software products with greater regularity, efficiency, and overall quality. Software development processes include systematic methods and steps for software development from requirement analysis and UI Prototype to maintenance. Software process models help the project team focus on planning and estimation, identify tasks and sub-tasks to accomplish a milestone or phase, and identify and manage risks, issues, constraints, and dependencies.

A system development life cycle is essentially a project management model. It defines different stages that are necessary to bring a project from its initial idea or conception all the way to deployment and later maintenance. And one of the important phases in the same is to build the UI prototype that helps in understanding how the software will look and work visually.

Top Methodologies Used in Software Development 

  • The Agile methodology Agility means the ability to create and respond, to change in order to profit in an unstable business environment. Companies need to determine the amount of agility they need to be competitive. It involves constant collaboration with participants and continuous improvement at every stage. The cycle goes through a process of planning, executing, and evaluating.
  • DevOps It is a methodology that is an Agile-based approach that combines Software Development and IT operations together (development & operations) in the design, development, deployment, and support of software. It improves work throughout the software lifecycle. A constant process, consisting of the plan, code, build, test, release, deploy, operating, and monitoring.
  • Rapid application development (RAD) A irregular approach that condenses design and code construction into one interconnected step. A development model that prioritizes rapid prototyping and quick feedback over long drawn-out development and testing cycles.
  • Scaled Agile Framework As the name indicates, it provides a way to widen Agile methodology to a larger organization. It is a set of organizational and workflow patterns for implementing agile practices at an enterprise scale. It includes structured guidance on roles and responsibilities, how to plan and manage the work, and values to support.
  • Waterfall Model This is a classical basic software development life cycle model. It is very simple but idealistic. This model was very popular earlier. All the other software development life cycle models are based on this classical waterfall model. It Identifies deliverables and milestones upfront, though it has its own pros & cons.

However, one should choose the best Software Development method which will work best for their requirement.  

The Software Development Life Cycle

  • Planning Stage The feasibility stage defines the problem and scope of any existing systems, as well as determine the objectives for their new systems. By developing an effective outline for the upcoming development cycle, they’ll theoretically catch problems before they affect development. And help to secure the funding and resources they need to make their plan happen.
  • Feasibility or Analysis Stage  The analysis stage involves the collection of all the specific details required for a new system as well as determining the first ideas for Software Prototype Development. Developers may define any Prototype system requirements, evaluate alternatives to existing Software Prototypes, and perform research and analysis to determine the needs of end-users.
  • Design & Prototyping Stage It is a necessary forerunner to the main developer stage which is crafting a software prototype before jumping into coding. Developers first outline the details for the overall application.
  • Software Development Stage The development stage is the coding stage where the developer builds the application according to the earlier design & specifications. Theoretically, all the prior planning and outlines should make the actual development phase relatively straightforward. Developers will choose the right programming language & code based on the specified requirements of the project. 
  • Software Testing Stage – Software testing verifies the artifacts and behavior of software through validation and verification. Software testing provides an independent view of software, allowing the organization to assess the risks of software implementation.  
  • Support and Maintenance Stage The Life Cycle of Software Development doesn’t end after reaching the market. Software Development Service providers now move into a maintenance mode and begin practicing any activities required to handle issues reported by end-users. Furthermore, developers are responsible to implement any changes that might need after deployment.

More About Software UI Prototype

Types of Software Prototype – A Quick Look

There are different types of Software Prototypes

  • Throwaway Or Rapid Prototype – This prototyping requires very little efforts and basic requirement analysis to create a prototype. After gathering the initial requirements, a simple business model for the system visually shows the user what the requirements will look like when implemented into a complete system. This is also a form of rapid prototyping.
  • Evolutionary or progressive Prototype  It involves building an actual functional prototype with minimal functionality at the start. This helps in understanding how a product will look and can function.
  • Stepwise Prototype Multiple functional prototypes are built-in steps. They follow the sequence of developing, refining, demoing, and correcting. All these prototypes are integrated into the complete system. This is also known as an Incremental prototype.
  • Extreme Prototype This prototyping is used for developing web applications. Basically, web development is divided into three phases, each of which is based on the previous phase. The first phase is a static prototype consisting mainly of HTML pages. In the second phase, the screen is programmed using the simulation service level and is fully functional. In the third stage, the service is performed.

How does the Prototyping Stage Work for Businesses? 

A software can be built in many ways. But only a few paths will result in user-friendly functionality.  So, how do you know what exactly to build? How do you align collaborators on design? That’s where software prototypes exist.

Prototyping is the ideal way 

  1. To test, evaluate, and validate your idea with the stakeholders.
  2. To Identify basic requirements and to provide UI
  3. Confirm that you are building the correct product before you jump into coding.
  4. To reduce project risk. 
  5. It is cost-effective – as a simple image is worth more than a complex, time-consuming, costly idea.
  6. A clickable demo lets users interact with it on a computer or mobile device
  7. The users gets a better understanding of the software due to this working model
  8. To get quick feedback from the user to avoid waste of money and time.
  9. Helps to identify missing or complex functionality.

Conclusion

Software Development methodologies evolved over a period of time. While the best practices derived as per the problem and solutions faced by the software industry. Each process and methodology has its pros and cons and so as per the need, one should opt for the best methodology. However, the UI prototyping phase during software design allows the users to evaluate developer proposals and try them out before implementation. In short, you should start a software project by building its prototype before jumping into coding. 

To sum up, prototyping leads to improved and increased user involvement. Its reduces time and costs. Prototyping can also improve the quality of requirements and specifications provided to developers. The early determination of what the user really wants can result in faster and less expensive software. Hence a prototype is desirable before starting actual software development.

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