You’ve got great ideas, but can you adequately relay them to your customer? If not, you may need to consider an interactive prototype, the ultimate tool to help you show how your software works, versus trying to tell someone who might not understand.
Not sure what we mean? Then keep reading!
What Is An Interactive Prototype?
An interactive prototype is a model that is designed to be tested before you develop the actual product. Think of it as a slide-deck or wireframe, but collaborative.
Your clients can dig into your prototype and see and feel how things are actually going to function. It’s much more show than tell and allows your customers to test out a beta version of your product and give valuable feedback on what does and doesn’t work. These prototypes evolve from sketches or your product interface to real, dynamic, interactive computer models of your software and/or product.
This interactive prototype is a crucial step in your product design as it will allow you to test out your concepts and ideas with your prospects before you actually invest the time and resources into development. You’ll get immediate feedback that you can use to improve the look, feel, and functionality and make changes before the final product is developed.
Therefore, the interactive prototype will save you valuable time, money, and enhance your brand credibility. You won’t have to go through many of the bugs and aches and pains that come with a product launch, as you’ll have worked out much of this trial and error already. Your reputation will then be strong as a creator of reliable products.
How An Interactive Prototype Helps You Sell
No longer do you need to go through various versions of wireframes and PDFs, sorting through an email chain to find notes and feedback from each member of the team. The limitations of these old methods are well-documented.
But an interactive prototype allows for live feedback and interaction, with everything stored together on a central hub. It’s your chance to let your customer engage with your product rather than telling them about it.
Show Rather Than Tell
Some of your competition may have a great pedigree, brand recognition, Fortune 500 clients, and a long history of building successful apps and software products. But they may also have become comfortable with their processes. When they seek to land a new contract, they send over their impressive portfolio and some mock-ups, such as a static PDF or wireframe, for the client to flip through.
This slide deck tells the client what each feature is going to do. The client might not understand everything the slides contain, and will have a hard time forming a vision of how it’s all going to work.
But you’re going to show them.
With an interactive prototype, the client doesn’t have to rely on imagination at all. The prototype puts the product right in their hands. A working, moving, test version that they can play with and see exactly what you’re going to do for them. You’re going to get immediate feedback and begin the collaboration stages. Next thing you know, you’ve landed the contract.
Trial & Error
When you use an interactive prototype, you can explore problems that may arise and test out your response system. You can anticipate certain flaws, bugs, and errors in functionality, and work on creative solutions ahead of time. Isn’t that a better option than launch the product and scrambling when things inevitably go wrong?
Of course, you can’t entirely prevent bugs and issues from occurring, because they surely will. But testing out a prototype puts you in the best position for success, and nips many potential issues in the bud.
This trial and error period also allows you to make changes and see what happens. You can explore various functionalities of the product or app and make adjustments and improvements. You’ll have feedback to use through testing to create the best possible user experience.
Learn More About Your Customers
When you go through the testing phase with an interactive prototype, you’ll gain powerful insights into your customer. This will include their priorities, preferences, which experiences and features they value over others, etc.
You’ll be able to make informed decisions on the product based on feedback from stakeholders, which helps you make an app that’s tailored to be exactly to their preferred specifications.
With an interactive prototype, you’ll make your client feel like they’re a real part of building the product, rather than a background player. They’ll get to add their insights and feedback along the design journey instead of going through endless rounds of revisions.
Interactive prototypes allow for greater transparency and eliminates the guesswork for your designers and developers. You’ll know how your client wants things to look and feel. You’ll know the exact functions the product should perform.
And you can show them how you’ve addressed their feedback and created functionalities along the way. That’s going to lead to a strong working relationship.
Why You Need Interactive Prototypes To Secure A Partnership
Decks and PDFs are difficult for your customers to understand. They may not speak the language and won’t be able to see any of the functionality the slides discuss. But apps and software products are sophisticated and require an interactive experience to fully comprehend them.
So that’s what you need to give them.
After all — if you don’t understand how a thing works, how can you give appropriate feedback? You can’t! And that’s what will happen with your customer if you’re giving them PDFs instead of an interactive prototype. Without being able to see the product in action they won’t be able to understand.
So avoid giving them an incomplete perception and go for the interactive prototype. The last thing you want is for your product to wind up as vaporware — or something you advertise that never comes to fruition.
An interactive prototype helps you show customers what you have to offer without overhyping anything, It will be right there for them to test out. There won’t be any concern over whether or not you can deliver because you’re developing the product before their very eyes.
Include An NDA
One last thing — interactive prototyping should only be for hot prospects, not for the masses. You should always include an NDA when interactive prototypes are involved to protect your intellectual property and potential investment with the client.
An NDA protects both parties and keeps you on the straight and narrow as far as what you can and can’t share with others. Since you’re developing the product specifically for the product, it should go without saying, but if often doesn’t.
As you can see, an interactive prototype is an incredibly valuable marketing tool for you and your company. It will allow for greater collaboration with your client, give you the opportunity to show your product in action rather than trying to tell them how it works and provides total transparency through the development of the product.
To help add another layer of protection, you might also consider automated software escrow., which can help ease your customer’s concern about your viability, support the software in case you fail to meet the terms of your licensing agreement, and helps to level the playing field between you and the big names in the software industry.
It’s added peace of mind that you can set and forget thanks to the power of automation. Call a PRAXIS team member today to learn what automated software escrow can do for your business.