Prototypes are helpful because they provide a quick take on how the courses would look like upon completion. In my earlier blog, I mentioned about the situations, when you can ask for Prototypes from your eLearning vendor. Here, I am listing some of the benefits of asking for Prototypes when getting eLearning courses developed.
Provides clarity on the final output: Prototype gives a clear picture of what the course is going to look like at an early stage providing room for improvisations. If you are unhappy with the proposed design or interface, this can be amended and corrected right at the beginning. Similarly, it reduces room for misinterpretation of communication or expectations in terms of design between you and the developer.
Cuts down iteration time: Prototypes significantly enable you to cut down on iteration time. Certain fundamental aspects with respect to the course such as the fonts, slide layouts, interactivities, etc., can be agreed upon in the early stage of development. This greatly reduces the extent of communication needed between the developer, SME, project manager, stakeholder, etc., during the course development process.
Reduces rework and provides scope for user involvement: Prototypes ensure improvements or amendments are made and a final template is agreed upon early on in the development stage. This ensures that fundamental or basic design elements are sealed early on, resulting in a smoother developmental process. You can imagine a course that has been developed but the final output does not go down well with the end users. Making amendments and corrections at that stage would result in a good amount of re-work and loss of precious time. If you have a prototype, you can solicit feedback from end-users and other key personnel involved in the project and incorporate their suggestions in the final product right at the beginning.
Using prototypes allows you to experiment with new designs and interactivities instead of repeating the same old format. It allows you to be open to future enhancements in the product. Can you think of other benefits of using a prototype? Do share your ideas.