What is a Prototype?
Representation of an idea in some form. A prototype allows people interact with it, which is great to get user feedback.
What can be the forms of a digital prototype?
Forms vary depending on an idea that is being prototyped. The most basic version is a paper prototype. There are also video prototypes and sound/voice prototypes. Perhaps, the most sophisticated ones are 3D printing, when physical objects are being created from a digital version.
Source: Micah Elizabeth Scott via Flickr
Source: Grant Hutchins via Flickr
What do you need to make one?
Depending on the form and the idea itself, deferent materials/software may be required. For digital prototypes - they can be created with various software: KeyNote, Proto.io, etc. Materials such as paper and plastic are very popular.
What are prototypes used for?
They are used to test the early versions of product to minimise the risks of wasting time and resources developing a product nobody needs.
What is the purpose of a prototype?
Prototypes are used to collect feedback and conduct testing. They are used to assess, test and evaluate and see how a product can potentially work in real life.
When would you create one?
Whenever a team is working on new functionality or product. Testing a product when it's a prototype before it is actually built can and will save lots of time and resources.