Let's say, your business users want to add a loan calculator to your site.
So your BA goes ahead and asks developers to do this, right?
Most likely (to be honest), they will start with 'competitive analysis' and ask developers to copy the one that XYZ Co has on their site and just add a field for the trade in value.
Development comes back two days later and BA to check.
(See screenshot below)
They like how the results appear on the side panel, but the duration field is below the edge of the screen - so you see a Lamborghini payment on a Honda Civic - (because the widget has defaulted you to a one year term!)
Development makes the changes quick and is back for retest in another 2 days.
The calc looks better now and your BA just wants to fix the fonts here and there...
Another day of fixing and touch ups and it looks really good!
And then BA realizes that they haven't tested that on a mobile!
There goes another 3 days of development.
Let's say, internal developers cost you $100/hr, so you've just spent $6,400 to basically steal a ready to go widget, that was already done by competitors!
Now what if you BA has printed out your site' page - before adding the widget - and drawn up the calc on top of it? BEFORE talking to Development...
Hear me out.
What if they done that for your mobile page as well?
Printed the XYZ Co page with a calc that they like, cut the calc out with scissors and stick it on top of the printout of your page?
How long would that take? 5 min?
Yes, it's low tek and it doesn't seem like something a BA would do.
But if they did - in just 5 minutes they would've gotten themselves a prototype to see exactly how that calculator will look on a page - without spending a penny on development!
And, the most important thing is - these five minutes would've saved 8 days of Development time!
So why not waste some paper instead, when it makes a really good sense?
When ready, have them snap the thing with their phone camera (BYOD in action!) and THEN send it to development for coding!
2 days of work instead of 8 and 5K in savings... Not bad for a 5 min task.
I hope you're seeing the benefits.
Well, it doesn't have to be all napkins and scotch tape. We actually use tools like Axure and Balsamiq to create these mock-ups, but the main idea is the same.
In just a few minutes, often, with a client on the phone, I can create multiple versions of designs, forms and widgets, saving thousands of dollars and weeks of work, creating the insights that are impossible to come up with in the world where every change you make can takes days and cost thousands of dollars!
Are you using these quick and simple prototyping in your organization? If not, get in touch and I'll be happy to help you to get started.
Let me know what you think. Love to see your thoughts in the comments.