A prototype is the first or
early sample, model or demonstration version of a concept, design or idea used
to test functionality and gather feedback. The objective of prototyping is to
build a functional and demonstrable version of a concept and use this version
to evaluate different aspects of the concept with end users. A prototype may
test a single or multiple facets of a concept and can range in functionality
from very basic design mock-ups to fully functional features within complex
software applications.

This unit introduces students to
the role, basic concepts and benefits of prototyping in the design and
development process of software applications. The aim of this unit is to enhance
a student’s understanding of the methodology, terminology and benefits of prototyping
in the design and development of secure software applications. Among the topics
included in this unit are: classification and terminology of prototyping tools
and techniques, the relationship between prototypes and release candidate
software applications, how prototypes differ from release candidate software
applications, categorising prototypes by their intended target end user, functionality
and testing requirements, methods of prototyping, most appropriate forms of
prototype for the different categories of testing, gathering meaningful insights
and results from prototype testing, software release lifecycle and software prototyping

On successful
completion of this unit students will be able to explain the basic concepts of
prototyping; plan, build and measure the success of an appropriate prototype
with a specific end user in mind; and conduct testing to gather meaningful feedback
and data to improve a prototype or final software application. As a result they
will develop skills such as communication literacy, team working, critical
thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, business skills, computer software
literacy and language, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing
academic competence.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students will be able to:

LO1. Explore forms of prototypes appropriate for various functionality and end user testing requirements.

LO2. Plan a prototype for specific target end users and planned tests.

LO3. Develop multiple iterations of the prototype using appropriate tools.

LO4. Evaluate user feedback and test results from multiple iterations of the prototype and end user testing.

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