One of the most common, and costly, mistakes that a company can make is to decide that they have neither the time nor the money to create a prototype for their product. It’s a dangerously short-term way of thinking about a new product, and it will probably end up costing more in the long run than you anticipated.
This is because creating and testing a prototype of your new product, or for a modification of an existing one, can take care of many potential issues and roadblocks you might encounter while developing a product. Here are just a few ways that prototyping can do so.
Test your product in the real world
It’s not uncommon for a developer, particularly if he or she is largely responsible for the product’s design, to feel like they know the product inside and out. They may think that it’s feasible to skip a prototype because they’ve anticipated any potential problems.
This assumption is a mistake, because the real world is always different from the theoretical one. Until you’ve brought your product into the real world and put it into real-life scenarios, you don’t really know what could go wrong, and it’s better to do that with one prototype than discover it after you’ve begun selling your product.
Gain quick feedback
With a prototype, you can not only get feedback from your development team, you can also use it to get feedback from your investors and your potential client base.
If you have a physical version of the product that you can show them, rather than a design or a schematic, you can gauge people’s reactions and get information and then apply that feedback to your design. Whether you have customers, clients, or other stakeholders, feedback will be vital for your project’s success.
Prototypes can help create momentum
Like any process, the product development process can easily lose momentum, especially for companies that are developing many products at once.
Getting a prototype made can help you keep that momentum going, as this is the phase where ideas, opinions and innovations can be added to the basic design with relatively little risk.
More versions can create a better product – up to a point
Creating an iteration of your product that is informed by what you discovered during the prototype phase will ultimately make your product much better.
There’s no better place to refine and build on your design than in the prototype phase. The more chances you have to get feedback and add different ideas to the products, the harder it will be for that product to have issues once it’s complete. When you have a physical product in front of you to test and re-test, the sky’s the limit in terms of potential improvements.
Whether you’ve already designed your product, or it’s still in the embryonic idea phase, Pivot International can help you develop it.