The development of software applications is time-consuming and cost-intensive. To prevent companies from wasting resources, prototypes are created and tested. We explain how prototyping works and what advantages it offers.

Software test

With the help of a software test, ideas and concepts for applications from the IT sector can be checked for potential and technical feasibility in a cost- and time-efficient manner. In this way, the entrepre­neurial risk in the development of new software concepts can be effectively limited, the idea can be refined, or a project can be terminated before it proves to be a cost-intensive failure.

What exactly is digital prototyping?

In IT, digital or "rapid prototyping" is defined as the development, design and implemen­tation of an initial, strongly simplified test version of a software application. This IT prototype is used for further project planning, trouble­shooting and communi­cation with customers, developers and other involved parties. The aim of this type of software testing is to find out as early as possible whether an idea works in practice and whether further implemen­tation proves to be financially viable and technically feasible. For this purpose, a very first test version with the rudimentary basic functions of the later application is created with the least possible effort, the IT prototype.

What are the advantages of software testing?

The test version created with the help of digital prototyping can be developed and implemented compara­tively quickly and inexpen­sively compared to the later end product. This makes it possible to obtain feedback at a very early stage of the project. In this way, any problems are identified at an early stage and appropriate changes and optimi­zations can be incorporated and implemented in further development. At the same time, an IT prototype can also be used to test initial conclusions about later usability and a structure that is as self-explanatory as possible. In addition, the development of a possible final version with the results from a software test is signifi­cantly more cost-efficient.

All the benefits of digital prototyping at a glance:

  • Can be realized quickly and cost-effectively compared to the final version
  • Allows feedback at a very early stage of the project
  • Tests the function, feasibility and financial viability of ideas from the IT sector
  • Makes errors and potential problems visible
  • Enables early optimization, modification and customi­zation
  • Gives project participants and funding partners a compre­hensive impression of the idea

What types of prototyping are used in IT?

The IT proto types developed during a software test can be divided into three different types. Each development concept follows its own approach and differs in the definition of objectives.

1. Exploratory Prototyping

The focus here is on the question of whether an idea can be implemented and realized in practice. In this way, different approaches to a solution can be identified and discussed in the team. The goal of explorative prototyping is therefore to test the technical functio­nality of an application and its subsequent usability.

2. Evolutionary Prototyping

This variant of digital prototyping focuses on the systematic development of the application. Each intermediate step is evaluated and used to further improve the developed IT prototype, add missing functions and eliminate errors. The software test is built up step by step and is constantly improved in the process, right up to the finished end product.

3. Experimental Prototyping

In experimental prototyping, all individual subsystems are checked for function and errors before the compati­bility of the respective system parts with each other is checked in a second step. The focus here is on the partially experimental development of individual components and their intercation.