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INSPIRED, 2nd Edition by Marty Cagan

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CHAPTER 45Principles of Prototypes

As discussed in Chapter 44, there are many forms of prototypes. The best choice for you depends on the particular risk being tackled and the type of product. But all forms of prototypes have certain characteristics and benefits in common. Here are five key principles behind their use.

  1. The overarching purpose of any form of prototype is to learn something at a much lower cost in terms of time and effort than building out a product. All forms of prototype should require at least an order of magnitude less time and effort as the eventual product.
  2. Realize that one of the key benefits of any form of prototype is to force you to think through a problem at a substantially deeper level than if we just talk about it or write something down. This is why the very act of creating a prototype so often exposes major issues otherwise left uncovered until much later.
  3. Similarly, a prototype is also a powerful tool for team collaboration. Members of the product team and business partners can all experience the prototype to develop shared understanding.
  4. There are many different possible levels of fidelity for a prototype. The fidelity primarily refers to how realistic the prototype looks. There is no such thing as one appropriate level of fidelity. Sometimes we don't need the prototype to look realistic at all, ...

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