Before developing any bespoke software, whether a mobile app or a custom web application, nowadays virtually all software development companies, at the initial stages, undertake prototype software development. This is more relevant when the requirements supplied by the client are at a high level and only cover the core features and functions expected from the bespoke software.
It is not necessary to engage with a software development company to develop a software prototype. Epically in countries like the UK where software development companies pay top dollar/pound to skilled software developers, sometimes it makes perfect sense for the client to develop a prototype themselves.
A quick search on Google for prototype software development tools, returns lots of results which allow non-technical users to create working/functional prototype designs without writing a single line of code. This is made possible by providing WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) type of designers which allow the users to simply drag-n-drop various components on a screen, which represent a screen/module/function that the business is trying to automate. Taking this approach allows the business users to participate in the initial stages of the software design and include the key features and functions they need to automate and streamline their tasks.
Developing a functional software prototype also helps to get accurate quotations from software development companies because they are able to accurately calculate how much effort will be required to develop a particular screen, module, feature, function, etc. This also helps the client to remove elements which are non-critical and reduce the overall software development cost.
Schnell Solutions Limited is a UK based award winning bespoke software development company which has helped many UK clients to convert their software prototype designs into full-blown software applications. At Schnell, we use several prototype development tools which help us convert business requirements into functional software prototypes in a matter of days. This not only helps us keep costs to a minimum but also allows our clients to explore different options and choose the most suitable design for their business.