Here’s the scenario. You receive the prototype for your product and discover there are some problems. While this can cause product developers to panic, it shouldn’t. After all, the purpose of a prototype is to expose all potential product defects prior to actual production. Whether the issues are related to design, functionality, or technicality, any complication at this stage is fixable.
At Pivot International, we’ve helped businesses create prototypes ranging from small, simple, hand-produced models to large designs engineered from 3D printing. With over 46 years of experience, we’ve seen it all. If your prototype uncovers a problem with your product, here’s how to take the next step in solving it.
1. Bring the whole team together to brainstorm.
This is a great opportunity for everyone to regroup. What elements will be easiest to fix? Which problems present more significant challenges? Have you correctly identified the issues? If possible, how can you avoid these mistakes when designing future products? Getting everyone on the same page about what went wrong and what needs to happen next will be extremely helpful down the line.
2. Factor in your users.
Feedback received from testing provides you invaluable information. Not only will you learn more about what users want from your product, but you’ll also discover new things about users themselves. Such findings will help you solve prototype problems in highly personal and therefore relevant ways that ultimately make your product more marketable.
3. Consider alternatives to your current design.
Sometimes all it takes is a small change in design to solve a larger problem. Think about what design alternatives could work for your product. Though these alternatives may not have been your first choice, they may turn out to be your best choice.
4. Start the repairs.
Once you have accurately pinpointed the issues and formulated a plan, it’s time to start fixing. As the inventor of the digital camera, Steve Sasson, said: “Failure is a valuable learning opportunity that allows us to be equipped with the knowledge and power to adapt to any situation.” Make the most of this opportunity.
After you regroup, listen to your users, rethink design, and start repairs — you’ll have succeeded in acting on the learning that the prototype was designed to provide. Remember, the discovery of a problem in the prototyping process is a sign that your product development is progressing exactly as it should.
At Pivot, prototyping services are a key part of our product design and development expertise that we offer businesses of all sizes. In fact, it’s part of our standard product development package. Our expert designers will guide your prototyping process every step of the way and offer suggestions and critical analysis, enabling you to move confidently to the production process and to market. To learn more about our product design and development services and how Pivot International can help, reach out to us today.