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What is Rapid Prototyping, and what's in it for me?

It is one of the biggest and oldest problems in business: how do you as a client explain exactly what you want? Books have been written about expectations management, better ways of communicating and in the case of IT: "translating" the assignment towards the developers. The big problem is often that if an assignment is not completely clear in the initial stage, it can lead to major unforeseen issues later in the execution. Rapid Prototyping, performed with OutSystems, allows you to minimize these risks.

A prototype in three parts within a day

1. The conversation

As with every assignment, Rapid Prototyping also starts with the well-known conversation; a client has a problem and is investigating his options for a solution. In the case of an application, there will be a briefing and usually an outline, which will clarify which requirements this new app must meet and what it should look like.

2. Rapid Prototyping

In addition to the briefing, we use a simple element to quickly develop a prototype of the application. That's the logo. In almost all cases, it contains the client's house style colours. We pick it out so that we can then process it in the prototype. Especially in the latest version, OutSystems has invested a lot in developing plug and play interfaces, dashboards, light screens and other frequently used features. OutSystems also works low code and in a visual way. This means that the pre-programmed features can be dragged visually one after the other in order to arrive at a working prototype at lightning speed. Often within an hour.

3. What does the client think?

The results of are often clear and apparent to the client quite soon. Firstly, the client is always pleased by the enormous speed with which visual results can be achieved. Also, despite the fact that it is a prototype that contains only a few working functionalities, it is a very useful to visually showcase to what extent we have understood the assignment, i.e., the clients’ needs.

The majority is usually correct, but it can also just happen that we find out that the dashboard should actually look very different and, on closer inspection, should have a few other functionalities. Rapid Prototyping helps enormously as a yardstick to check whether the assignment has been successfully received. Any miscommunications and interpretations can thus be quickly eliminated. Furthermore, it lays a solid foundation to build on the application upon. A unique tool, with unique possibilities.

Would you like to know more about the possibilities of Rapid Prototyping, or would you like to experience it yourself? Please contact one of our OutSystems experts for more information. Our read our business case 'How Crédit Agricole saves time and money through automation' for more inspiration.

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