Choosing a software partner is a big decision for any company, especially those in the SaaS space
As a beneficiary, or end-user, who is licensing software from a provider, you will surely want to stay abreast to what is going on with your project. The only way to really know what’s going on throughout the development process is via an interactive prototype.
Let’s take a quick look at five reasons why you want a software partner who uses interactive prototypes (in addition to automated software escrow).
What Is An Interactive Prototype?
An interactive prototype is just what the name suggests — a prototype of a software product that is interactive. The prototype begins as a sketch and becomes a dynamic, interactive computer model of the software product.
This means you can get your eyes and hands on a prototype of your product before it goes live. It gives you the opportunity to test things out and fully understand how your software is going to function.
You’ll learn what does and doesn’t work, what you like and don’t like, and whether or not the product accomplishes your goals. You’ll be able to provide feedback during this development phase to improve your end result.
Your company should insist that your software provider use an interactive prototype as it serves as a crucial step in the product design. It allows you to see the concepts and ideas in motion. It’s one thing to have a good discussion — it’s another to actually see your vision come to life.
This interactive prototype enables you to provide immediate feedback. You can improve the look, feel, functionality, and more, and make changes before your final product is developed and goes live.
The interactive prototype eliminates surprises, keeps everyone up-to-date on the progress of your project, and works out many of the kinks in the early stages of the project.
Here are five reasons why you want your software provider to use interactive prototypes.
1. Know Where You Stand
After you’ve signed a licensing agreement, you likely want to see some results. No one likes chasing after a provider for updates to see where things stand. And with an interactive prototype, you won’t have to.
The interactive prototype allows for live updates on project progress. You’ll be able to log into the prototype and see exactly where your developer is at. You can provide feedback in those stages to keep them from steering in the wrong direction and wasting time or see that they’ve understood your vision clearly and the project is moving along smoothly.
This unparalleled transparency gives you peace of mind that your developer is holding up their end of the bargain.
2. Eliminate Surprises
Without an interactive prototype, you might be working from outdated PDFs, email chains, wireframes, slide decks, and presentation models that don’t allow for easy, up-to-date collaboration.
You’ll be chasing email chains, using the preferred CMS with yet another login and password, and wondering about how things are going.
This kind of dated presentation allows for unnecessary mistakes. Without live collaboration, your developer is left on their own to make your software product.
Then, you get your sample and… it’s not what you wanted. Somewhere along the way, the messaging was lost. The branding is wrong, the look is off, and your mission is not being accomplished. If they use waterfall development, you then need to start over.
But it’s 2021 and this is not an ideal development model. Interactive prototypes eliminate these surprises because you can catch misdirections before they become bigger issues.
3. Have Your Voice Heard
Speaking of catching mistakes…
If your developer is using an interactive prototype, if you see something, say something! An interactive prototype allows for live collaboration. You can say what you like or don’t like right away. You can steer the ship before it gets off course or reassures your developer that they are heading in the right direction.
This enhanced collaboration eliminates mistakes, takes away wasted time, and keeps your project moving successfully toward your goals.
4. Test Things Out
An interactive prototype is the only way you’re going to be able to get your eyes and hands on your product before it goes live. It gives you the opportunity to actually see how things look. You can move through the app or site as your customers would and see what you like and don’t, what works or doesn’t.
Being able to test out the app before it goes live helps you sniff out problems that may have otherwise emerged after you went live. Bugs may still occur — but you’ll catch the big ones. This helps to ensure a better product once you’re ready for launch. Because that’s the thing — it will truly be ready.
5. Improved End-Result
When your developer uses an interactive prototype, it gives you both better chances of having a successful relationship and end-result. You will have been involved during every step of the development and had your voice be heard. Your feedback was taken into account to develop the product itself, making changes according to your preferences.
You’ll know exactly what it’s going to look like in the end and what it’s going to do, you’ll have vetted everything thoroughly, and you’ll be more likely to be happy with the end result.
As you can see, insisting that your software partner uses an interactive prototype can make or break the success of your project. With an interactive prototype, you’ll know where you stand, where things are going, and what your product is going to look like when it’s done. Without one? Well, it’s a bit of a mystery.
Making sure that your software partner uses an interactive prototype is another way you can properly vet your technology vendor. This, in addition to automated software escrow, helps you ensure and safeguard the success of your project and technology investment.
So play it safe! Make sure your software partner uses an interactive prototype and has automated software escrow in place.