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Chapter 13. Prototyping and DevNotes > Prototype and Get It Right

Prototype and Get It Right

The prototype portion of the application design phase is one of the most critical parts of the development life cycle. This is the opportunity to fine-tune the information that is collected during the wireframing and sharply hone the client’s understanding of his proposed application. In reality, we’re inviting scope creep in the front door and making it happen when we want it to happen, instead of later in the project when it would be much more expensive.

The Comment-Alter Cycle: Befriending Scope Creep

For most clients and most applications, the prototype turns out to be a revealing operation. Often, clients will discover nuances of the proposed system that they hadn’t really considered before. The more information that Stan and Brody can help uncover at this phase, the better. For this reason, the prototype phase is an iterative process, using what we call the Comment-Alter cycle; the client comments on the current state of the work, and the designer responds by altering the work to satisfy the comments. Just as we often use the term front end to refer to a prototype, we use the term Comment-Alter cycle because it is less threatening to a client than the anxiety-producing term scope creep.


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