Posted: June 18th, 2021

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Prototyping is an alternative method to the software development life cycle (SDLC). This is where a scaled down version of the software is built and improved upon using the actual users. The prototype should be a functional system that is readily modifiable. This method allows the establishing of required functions by getting immediate feedback from users. Prototyping allows the users to be directly involved in the development of the software. Many companies will release a free beta version of their software before they choose to monetize it. For example, Apple has a beta testing program where users can help shape functionality of their operating systems before they implement them (Apple, N.D.).
Prototyping is somewhat of a trial and error methodology for software development. When prototyping is used in the place of traditional SDLC it can be a lengthy process depending on the complexity of the project. The size of the software project should be considered when determining whether to use a prototype or not. It might not be feasible to roll out a prototype of a very large software project. For larger projects, a combination of the SDLC and prototyping could be used. The combination of these two methods could serve to improve overall user experiences.
Apple (N.D.) Apple Beta Software Program. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Cerveny, R. P., Garrity, E. J., & Sanders, G. L. (1986). The Application of Prototyping to Systems Development: A Rationale and Model. Journal of Management Information Systems, 3(2), 52–62. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Shaffer, Carey, Parsons, Oja, Finnegan. ACP IT 221. [VitalSource]. Retrieved from

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