Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X Naukri.com. Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X Naukri.com
Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Prototyping?
3.
What is Prototype Model in Software Engineering?
4.
Steps of Prototype Model
4.1.
Requirement, Gathering and Analysis
4.2.
Quick Designing 
4.3.
Build a Prototype
4.4.
User Evaluation or Review
4.5.
Prototype Refinement 
4.6.
Implement and Maintain Product 
5.
Types of Prototyping Models
5.1.
Rapid Throwaway Prototyping
5.2.
Evolutionary Prototyping
5.3.
Incremental Prototyping
5.4.
Extreme Prototyping
6.
Advantages of Prototype Model
7.
Disadvantages of Prototype Model
8.
Applications of Prototype Model in Software Engineering
9.
Best Practices of Prototyping 
10.
Frequently Asked Questions
10.1.
What is prototype model in software engineering?
10.2.
What is the model of a prototype?
10.3.
Why is prototype model used?
10.4.
What are the 4 types of prototype model?
11.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
Easy

Prototype Model in Software Engineering

gp-icon
Data structures & algorithms (Beginner to Intermediate)
Free guided path
13 chapters
99+ problems
gp-badge
Earn badges and level up

Introduction

Welcome to another interesting article on software engineering. In this article, we will dive deeper into the concept of the prototype model and learn about its implementation, advantages, and disadvantages.

prototype model in software engineering

This article aims to provide a crystal-clear understanding of the Prototype Model in Software Engineering.

To know about Adhoc testing click here. 

What is Prototyping?

'Prototyping' refers to creating an initial version or model of an idea or imagination we wish to implement. Software Engineering means modeling a software product or system to evaluate its design, working, feasibility, implementation cost, performance, etc. 

It is an iterative process as the model is rectified and re-developed until we obtain a satisfactory value of all the mentioned parameters. It serves as a basis and guide for developing our final product or system. Since the design and functionality are modeled, this helps in reducing the chances of issues and faults during product development.

Get the tech career you deserve, faster!
Connect with our expert counsellors to understand how to hack your way to success
User rating 4.7/5
1:1 doubt support
95% placement record
Akash Pal
Senior Software Engineer
326% Hike After Job Bootcamp
Himanshu Gusain
Programmer Analyst
32 LPA After Job Bootcamp
After Job
Bootcamp

What is Prototype Model in Software Engineering?

The Prototype Model is a software development methodology used in the field of software engineering. It is an iterative and incremental approach that focuses on building a preliminary version of a software system, known as a "prototype," to gather user feedback and refine the requirements and design of the final system. The Prototype Model is often employed when the requirements of a project are not well-understood or are subject to change, and it is particularly useful for projects with a high degree of user interaction and user interface design. 

Steps of Prototype Model

The development of the prototype Model takes place in various stages.

Broadly classified into six stages:

Stages in the Prototype Model Life Cycle

Let us now look into each stage in detail:

Requirement, Gathering and Analysis

This stage involves interacting with the community for which the product is being designed and understanding their needs to know their expectations and work in the right direction.

Quick Designing 

This stage involves creating a bird-view design of the model, which satisfies the requirements gathered in the first step. It could be a more technical and complete design of the model. It is just like a rough draft.

Build a Prototype

At this stage, an actual model is built using the raw model built in step 2, and all the information is gathered in step 1. It includes a more detailed specification of the various components.

User Evaluation or Review

Since prototype model building is an iterative process, a user review is necessary after every temporary model construction. The concerned user reviews the current prototype model and returns feedback. These are collected and given as input to the developer for the next iteration.

Prototype Refinement 

Next, the developer analyzes the suggestions and reviews collected from the user, and the appropriate changes are made to the existing model. This process continues until the user is convinced that the model fulfills his requirements.

Implement and Maintain Product 

The model is constructed and implemented according to user specifications. The constructed model is the basis for implementation. Regular maintenance is performed on the product or the system to minimize downtime and prevent significant failures.

Types of Prototyping Models

The following are the diverse categories of the prototype model. They may be classified on various parameters, including implementation, cost-effectiveness, and user involvement.
 

  • Rapid Throwaway Prototyping
     
  • Evolutionary Prototyping
     
  • Incremental Prototyping
     
  • Extreme Prototyping

Rapid Throwaway Prototyping

In this kind of prototyping, the model is developed quickly and discarded or 'thrown away' as soon as the product or design is built. It helps to step forward from the prototyping stage quickly.

This kind of prototyping is done for getting an idea of how the product will look. Customer feedback is taken into account for promoting any demand change. The re-creation of the prototype takes place until the need is basic.

Evolutionary Prototyping

In this type, first of all, an initial prototype model is built. After that, the customer needs and requirements are analyzed and integrated with the existing model. The review and changes are made until the customer is fully satisfied.

Evolutionary prototyping is generally used in high-end projects in which the testing of every feature is done and when any unknown replacement technology is used in a project. Through this prototyping, we can avoid the wastage of both effort and time.

Incremental Prototyping

In incremental prototyping, several small prototype models are constructed in parallel. All these models are constructed following the customer's needs. After that, they can be considered individually or integrated into a single effective model.

Incremental prototyping is useful for reducing the feedback time between the development team and the user. Therefore it can be referred to as an iterative approach where multiple stages are built. Incremental prototyping helps in improving the prototype model. But there is a risk involved in incremental prototyping, i.e., while doing the process, the look can vary drastically such that the model may look like a whole different software piece.

Extreme Prototyping

This kind of prototyping is done in web application development. It breaks the web development process into three fields, each the sequel of the previous one.

A close collaboration between customers and developers is preferred in extreme prototyping. Extreme prototyping is done in three stages:

  • Building: Building HTML wireframes for stimulating the presentation layer.
     
  • Transformation: The wireframes are transformed into completely functional HTML pages. Therefore, they are tied to the simulated service layer.
     
  • Implementation: Next is coding and implementing the service layer.

Advantages of Prototype Model

The advantages of the prototype model are as follows.
 

  • The customers/users are fully satisfied with the product as they can review the model at every stage, give suggestions and ensure it meets their demands.
     
  • It minimizes the risk of product failure as these factors have already been studied intensely in the prototype development process. 
     
  • It gives the customer space to put forth his ideas as they shape his mind. It only requires some of the specifications at the very start.
     
  • It only requires a few skilled developers to develop the product or system.
     
  • Flexible designing.
     
  • Saves product construction cost and time.

Disadvantages of Prototype Model

The disadvantages of the prototype model are as follows.
 

  • It is a slow and time-consuming process.
     
  • It requires customer interaction and interference at every stage.
     
  • Customers may change their product developer if they are satisfied with the initial designs. They can cause massive losses to the developers.
     
  • The money invested in prototype model development could be better utilized. This is because the prototype is useless after final product development.
     
  • It promotes unnecessary changes in the constructed model.
     

Applications of Prototype Model in Software Engineering

The prototype model is widely used in the following fields:

  • Game Development: Here, the prototype model helps create a simplified version of the game, a vertical slice, or a proof of concept
     
  • Web Development: It comes in handy in this development domain to create a dummy working website to identify the upcoming flaws
     
  • Product Development: Creates an early prototype version of the product to gather feedback from users and stakeholders
     
  • User interface design: User designers often use prototype models to test design concepts and explore functionalities
     
  • Application Development: The application development process using the prototype model typically involves creating a simplified version of the application, known as a mockup or a wireframe

Best Practices of Prototyping 

We know that the prototype model in software engineering is very important for ensuring that the development process occurs smoothly. It refers to making the initial working model, taking into feedback, and considering all the requirements before actually moving on to development. Below are some of the best practices for prototyping.
 

  • We must be clear about when we actually want to implement prototyping. It is preferred that we must use it in case of unclear situations.
     
  • We should implement planned and controlled prototyping. This means that we must consider only the most important features and avoid overdoing the process; this may complicate the model.
     
  • While implementing prototyping, regular meetings must be conducted, and we must take proper feedback for the projects.
     
  • Major pitfalls must be taken into consideration.
     
  • Important information must be prioritized while navigating through components of various topics.
     
  • Testing should be done on various devices to ensure the model's efficiency. For example, while making a website, we check on various devices for its responsiveness.

Also Read, human computer interaction

Frequently Asked Questions

What is prototype model in software engineering?

Before performing the actual development process, we generally refer to a prototype model that takes into consideration all the requirements of the end product. While doing prototyping, we take a look into feedback for improvement.

What is the model of a prototype?

A prototype model in software development represents the system or its aspects. It can be paper, wireframe, mockup, interactive, proof of concept, horizontal, vertical, or evolutionary, based on project needs.

Why is prototype model used?

The Prototype Model is used to clarify and refine uncertain software requirements, involve users in the design process, mitigate risks, and validate user interface design through rapid, iterative prototyping.

What are the 4 types of prototype model?

The four types of prototype models in software engineering are Throwaway/Rapid Prototyping, Evolutionary Prototyping, Incremental Prototyping, and Extreme Prototyping, each with distinct approaches to developing and refining software.

Conclusion

The Prototype Model in software engineering accelerates development, help client feedback, and refines final products, ensuring effective and client-centric solutions. In this blog, we have discussed about the details of the Prototype Model in Software Engineering, its development stages, its various types, and its advantages and disadvantages.

You can also refer to the following articles:

Previous article
Difference Between Errors and Bugs
Next article
V Model in Software Engineering
Guided path
Free
gridgp-icon
Data structures & algorithms (Beginner to Intermediate)
13 chapters
109+ Problems
gp-badge
Earn badges and level up
Live masterclass