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Solve Enterprise Problems with a Proof of Concept

The difference between a prototype and a proof of concept is like the difference between Instagram photos of a meal and actually making the recipe. Both tell you some information about the meal – what it looks like, approximately how nutritious it might be, etc –  but until you actually make it, taste it, smell it, enjoy it, you won’t really know if it’s a winning recipe.

Prototype or Proof of Concept?

We build products for enterprise companies and entrepreneurs and everyone in between. One of the ways we do that is by creating proof of concepts. These are real time proof of concepts that have been developed and built and put into users’ hands. 

As part of our Rocksauce Design Sprint, we also make prototypes, which are, like the Instagram post, informative and helpful, but they aren’t as informative as the proof of concept, or actually following the recipe and making the meal.

So does that mean building a proof of concept can validate your idea better?

Benefits of a Prototype

So a prototype can be a proof of concept, but it depends on your definition. For our purposes, a prototype is flat, using UX and UI, and can be built through Figma, InVision, or Marvel App or something similar. A user can tap through the prototype, clicking through things and they can be guided to the final answer. 

But this is not the same as using the final software itself. Once the user actually gets the product in his hands, once it’s in front of him, seeing what it’s like to interact with the real data, the entire user experience will change. 

Usually, starting off with a UX and UI prototype is a good idea because the goal is to validate that solution and check if you’re on the right track. That’s better than just hoping that what you want to build is the right thing. If you haven’t validated the solution, you could be wasting time and money building a full blown product only to discover later that it doesn’t solve your problem. This is why we offer the Rocksauce Design Sprint: to ideate, prototype, test, and validate in 5 days.

So I cannot recommend this strongly enough: you’ve got to have some kind of prototype that you put in front of users to get their feedback.

So why create a proof of concept?

When it’s time and you DO take it to the next level and you create a realtime proof of concept, you start getting a lot of cool information. 

Let’s be clear: with a proof of concept, you are NOT trying to build the developmental foundation of what the final product will be. You’re not trying to create the perfect product. You’re not trying to make sure that it’s scalable for 8,000 users every millisecond. 

You just want to make sure that it’s something that can work that is bug free and that gets in the hands of X amount of people so that you can ask, Okay, what is the data we’re getting from them now? What about this data is different from the data we would get from a standard prototype?

Realtime metrics let you know when users are abandoning things. They let you know how fast users are moving from A to B. They let you know how users are actually moving around your software. 

When you create a static prototype, you have to script it. A leads to B and B leads to C. You sit down with a user and walk them through it while you get their extremely valuable feedback. You’re asking them questions and they’re telling you what they like and don’t like.

But when you create realtime proofs of concepts, you can actually drop it off with them. You can send it out to a distribution network and let them use it as they would in an actual real time scenario. Then you’re getting more than feedback; you’re getting real data

Real Insight for a Clear Solution

You’re reviewing that data, thinking

  • Oh God, I didn’t expect them to go from profile to create a new account. That’s just weird. Why would they do that? 
  • I did not expect for them to try to find the log out button within 15 seconds. 
  • I didn’t expect someone to try to refresh their feed every minute.

The real data offers insight you couldn’t have anticipated. With these real time proof of concepts, you see where users abandoned things and where they fall out of love with your product. You’re going to look at your Google Analytics data, your crash reports, etc and can easily discover the friction points because you know what’s happening. 

With this real feedback and metrics, you have a better idea of what your final product is going to be and you can start tweaking it to the Nth degree.

The prototype takes you 70-80% to your final solution. But the proof of concept takes you the next 15-19%. Now, with this realtime data from real users, you can know with greater certainty that this is the right way forward.

Who needs a proof of concept?

So how do you know if you should invest in a prototype or in a proof of concept? From our experience at Rocksauce, we’ve found that proof of concepts are extremely beneficial for games as well as for anyone dealing with realtime enterprise based data, like a piece of internal software within a company.

In these areas, users aren’t following the scripts of a prototype; they need to access data at all sorts of different times and from different directions. These users need real data coming in. They need the proof of concept to see what’s actually going to be produced, to decide it does or doesn’t work in a real scenario. 

Prototypes are always going to best case scenario scripts for the user. But with a proof of concept, you have real time data in an enterprise scenario and it makes all the difference in the world. That lets you know, in an enterprise solution, that it is actually going to increase productivity.
If you have a problem you need to solve or an idea you need to test, we’re here to help. We can help you build a UX and UI prototype or maybe you want a thorough proof of concept. If you have a complicated problem, we want to help you solve it.

Give us a call 866.981.6847 or send us a message. At Rocksauce, we want to help you find the best solutions to your biggest problems.