A prototype is a sample or model of a product, allowing to test it at earlier stages. In other words, a prototype favours users to interact with or even only visualise the design or the product way before it is finalised. Prototypes are used in a variety of different concepts, from design to software developing.
Prototyping is the process used to experiment the idea and create an interactive experience. This way, new ideas or solutions can be explored, problems can be identified, and stakeholders can be engaged within the process from early stages. In addition prototyping can help the developer to develop faster. Prototyping can help save spending money, time, and effort.
Prototyping can range from drawing on paper to using digital prototyping tools. There are plenty of prototyping tools, either standalone tools or multi-purposed tools to help create the interactive prototyping experience without the need of additional development effort. Prototyping tools are made for helping with the prototype-creation process that will help the designer to receive insights at earlier stages, help the developer develop faster and and give the end user a "look and feel".