Rapid Prototyping Defined

Quoted from http://dsnra.jpl.nasa.gov/prototyp.html#definition

What is "Rapid Prototyping"?

Classic (i.e. bad) approach to software development -- the waterfall cycle :

  1. concept definition
  2. requirements definition
  3. preliminary design
  4. detailed design
  5. code implementation
  6. test and acceptance
  7. [griping]

Rapid prototyping -- the spiral cycle:

  1. concept definition
  2. implementation of a skeletal system
  3. user evaluation and concept refinement
  4. implementation of refined requirements
  5. user evaluation and concept refinement
  6. implementation of refined requirements

etc., etc., in a continuous cycle.

Wilson, Jonassen, and Cole

Wilson, et al., in http://www.cudenver.edu/~bwilson/training.html defines Rapid Prototyping as follows:

Rapid prototyping. In a design process, early development of a small-scale prototype used to test out certain key features of the design. Most useful for large-scale or projects.