Building a new product can be both exciting and intimidating at the same time. After all, you want to share your new idea with the world, but you may not know how exactly to go about it. One important step in the process is building a prototype of your prospective product. Here’s what you need to know:
What is a prototype?
A prototype is essentially a first draft of your product. In some cases, it can be just a simple, hand-drawn sketch. But in the majority of cases, it’s a fully functional, completely physical product. In other words, once you’ve finished designing your product on paper, you build a a model, or a prototype, to see how it looks, feels, and works in real life.
Why is prototyping important?
Prototyping is a critical portion of the design stage. By skipping it, you risk releasing a faulty product onto the market. Here are just some of the reasons why you should build one, two, or several prototypes before building the final product:
- Errors: You will find faults in the design or mechanics that you would have missed otherwise
- Feedback and User Testing: Allowing a select few individuals work with the prototype will give you enough feedback on usability and user experience
- Save time and money: If you end up skipping the prototype phase, you could wind up with severe defects that could cost you more time and money in the end
- Find areas of improvement: Even if your product works completely as it should, prototyping can help you find better and more efficient ways for it to perform