mock-up vs prototype vs sample

Discussion in 'English Only' started by aha123, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. aha123 Senior Member

    Maui, Hawaii(here is heaven! :)
    Mixed Asian Languages
    "For example, prior to report design, feedback from a mock-up report and additional input were solicited from participants in full-day overview sessions. Subsequently, 10 volunteers from the earlier sessions reviewed prototype reports. After their input was incorporated, revised reports were reviewed by an additional 90 potential users. Members of the TRS Agency User Group will be involved in similar reviews of other reports as they are developed and tested. (See Sample Reports)"

    http://www.fms.treas.gov/trs/agency.html


    C
    an anyone tell me the difference between mock-up, prototype and sample report in this context? Are they used properly in this context? To me, it seems they are the same.
     
  2. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    A mock-up is produced by any convenient means, perhaps by using a word processor to imitate what the report will eventually look like. Its only purpose is to evaluate user reactions to its appearance.

    A prototype is produced using "quick and dirty" development methods or rapid development tools. It often omits elements of a real reporting system, such as error checking or connection to the live database. It is, however, generated in much the same was as a real report would be. One purpose of a prototype is to evaluate user reactions, but it may have other purposes as well.

    There are many approaches to prototyping. This is not the place to go into them. Some use the prototype to replace a written specification, and develop the final system separately; others add features to the prototype until it becomes the final system. There are many online and printed sources of more information on software prototyping.

    A sample report is usually an actual report produced by the real system. It could be a sample prototype report, if the prototype can produce several different types of reports and this is just one of them.

    The words do not mean the same, at least not to a software development professional, though they are related. They seem to be used properly here.
     

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