Prototypes are important. They allow you to assess part or all of a design concept before committing to full production. Prototypes can be built using a variety of techniques depending on the requirements of the project and available budget.
They can range from a simple MDF replica that explores size and shape through to a fully finished presentation prototype. Production of a prototype will help you to make reasoned judgements before committing to a full roll-out of fixtures. This de-risks the buying process.