As a software designer, one of the things that I have noticed on several projects is that the road from prototype to product is much too short a one. At least, in the mind of management. I have seen numerous prototypes turned into products by the pressure to "get it out there". You must be very careful to use good, open design in these prototypes, because the powers that be will often bless them into production while you only intended to use the prototypes as a 'proof of concept'. I have also seen these same prototypes become bloated pigs of code because they never should have taken that journey. They were only supposed to exist to show what the product could do if we had a real one. One year and thousands of lines of kludge later, the prototype is still around. Hanging around your neck that is.
in reply to Does Anyone Use Rapid Prototyping?
The moral of the story is this. Design everything, even a proof of concept or prototype, as if they were going to grow up into full-fledged products. If you have a manager or director around, odds are that they will.
Brian - a.k.a. DrSax