Mastering Digital Prototyping Tools for Innovation Success

The future of business is always accompanied by uncertainty and by trends that are ever changing. This gives rise to the need of investing in developing new products and product increments. Studies indicate that 95% of new products fail when introduced to the market. This discouraging statistic is not good news for those hoping to innovate or become entrepreneurs.  

To determine whether a product is going to succeed or not, is no simple task. Prototyping is a valuable tool to evaluate the potential opportunities and drawbacks of an idea in an iterative manner

The need for prototyping

Given the high failure rate of products, in order to land a spot in those 10% of product innovations that actually succeed, prototyping is key.  

Prototyping involves creating a preliminary version of a product, service or idea. The idea is tested and improved through cycles of design and feedback. This helps to find flaws and improve the final outcome.  

Innovation means trying out product ideas with customers early on in the prototyping phase. This helps to discover unknowns and prioritize customer needs. Testing ideas quickly is important to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments. This process allows for a more customer-focused approach to product development. 


Exploring digital prototyping

Making physical prototypes using traditional methods can be time-consuming and expensive. A helpful solution for innovators to still get the benefits of prototyping is using digital prototyping. 

Digital prototyping refers to the process of creating virtual representations or simulations of products, services, or processes using digital tools and technologies. Innovators can try out their ideas digitally before making physical prototypes or implementing them on a large scale, saving resources. 

Digital prototyping is faster and cheaper than other methods for testing ideas, although it may not work for all experiments. This method is flexible. Users can interact with prototypes. Innovators can measure the success of their idea without bias.  


Top 10 basic prototyping softwares

The Top 10 basic prototyping tools according to


A stage-by-stage guide to digital prototyping and tooling 

Stage 1: User Stories  

Starting with a new idea means that there will be a lot of assumptions and uncertainty. The innovator’s job in this case is to identify these assumptions and test whether they are true or not.  

A valuable method to use here are user stories. A user story is written from the perspective of the end-user and helps to guide the innovator when it comes to design and usability decisions.  It is a short description of your product features.

A typical user story is written in the first-person format, i.e. in the format of “need” (who), “problem” (what), and “purpose” (why). 

User stories are easy to create and can already be a method through which an innovator can start prototyping. User stories can be told to people and innovators can receive feedback on them.   


Example As a LinkedIn user, I want to like a post or give another reaction to it on my Newsfeed, so that I can share my feelings about it with the author.  

Stage 2: Paper Prototypes  

As much as digital prototyping offers the advantage of having a low barrier to entry (by simply making use of tools such as Google Sheets or MS Excel), every idea at some point needs visuals.  

This is where the concept of paper prototyping allows you to take your idea to paper. The process is a form of visual brainstorming, and involves creating hand-drawn interactions and mock-ups that might occur on screen. By no means does this need to be a work of art, it simply needs to capture the concept of your user story in a visual way.  

Once you have scribbled your idea down on paper, there are various apps that make it easier to merge between the world of physical and digital prototyping.  

Using our example, from earlier on, the mobile appcation Marvel, allows you to take a picture of your user story which you visualized on paper and then digitize these drawings quickly and easily.  

In a matter of minutes, you will have your first visual prototype ready.  

Stage 3: Wireframes for Structured Design

Time to take your drawing fully digital! With the use of wireframes (skeleton screens of your solution with placeholder elements similar to what you have drawn during stage 2), you can start to visualise actual, full user flows.  

A user flow is a series of actions which a user can take when using your product. In other words, this helps to simulate the experience your user will have when using your product.  

The advantage of using wireframes is that you can communicate your idea in a seamless manner which you are also able to make changes to fast and easily. Instead of focusing on the visual, high-fidelity designs, the core focus here is the structure.  

Using our example, a wireframe allows us to start building the device frame (since we are building a mobile application). Then we can add the LinkedIn homescreen since our example is specific to LinkedIn. You can then add the visuals specific to your user story (the option to choose a reaction to the post).  

A helpful tool for creating wireframes is Whimsical. It is user-friendly and allows you to easily build wireframes. It has many pre-made elements like buttons and input fields that are commonly used in user interfaces. 

Stage 4: Clickable Prototypes for interactive testing  

While the wireframes developed during Stage 3 are still static examples of your product, during this stage this is all tied together by creating an interactive prototype in which a user is able to get more insight into the full user journey instead of just looking at static examples.  

An example of a tool to use here is Invision. Invision allows you to to upload any assets you have like the wireframes from step three and just link them together into a whole experience. It helps to represent the functionalities without actually building them. 

Stage 5: Functional MVP Development 

During the final stage, the focus lies on creating a first working version of your product (i.e. an MVP, Minimum Viable Product). This is usually done using no code tools. A no code tool, allows innovators to create powerful web applications in a matter of just days and weeks and not months anymore. An innovator will use it to learn and validate all the assumptions he/she has made in the beginning and which he/she derisks over time. 

The feedback the innovator gets here is very valuable, since this represents the usage of your real, potential customers and users. 

A great tool to use here is Bubble. Bubble is a tool that lets you create a prototype without needing to know how to code. It's easy to use. Within very little time, you can develop the MVP for your application. 

In a digitized world, the use of digital prototyping is simply unavoidable. With easy-to-use tools and no-code options, anyone can innovate and get feedback from more people when working on their idea. 


Have a look at our webinar together with HuggyStudio for a more detailed look at the concept of digital prototyping. 

A critical component of digital prototyping involves ensuring that innovators and entrepreneurs have access to necessary coaching, tools, and proficient service providers to support them throughout the process. Contact rready now to arrange a demonstration and discover how we can facilitate your employees' access to the appropriate tools throughout the innovation journey. 

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