Prototypes sound good: they suggest innovation and flexibility, without the cost of setting anything in stone.
As a digital innovation agency, we’ve built a good few prototypes for our clients. Alas, these prototypes have been some of our least satisfying projects.
Yes, we've been inspired by the initial vision. Yes, we’ve worked hard to make the client happy. Yes, we’ve gone the extra mile to delight. And yet, and yet... something has never quite clicked.
What goes wrong?
SlipWith no go-live date, difficult decisions get delayed.
BloatThere are bigger ambitions for a prototype than for a normal project. Freed from the constraints of shipping code, everyone hopes to create something game-changing. Extra features get added as the team grasp towards that big ambition.
Lack of FocusNot wanting to blame the client, but... usually there’s no one at the client firm who is totally focused on the prototype. A prototype is often a bit of a hobby, somewhere down the to-do list.
Good digital products are often simple ideas kept sharp by hard design decisions. Prototypes pull in the opposite direction.