• S Shaukat

The Importance of Prototyping in Product Design

Prototyping is essentially the process of creating a mockup of an existing design for a product. This could be 3D-printed, configured via augmented reality, or even created in an old-school way.

Either way, this is a process that startups often don’t include in how they create their products. That is a big mistake! Here are our insights as a product and services design consultancy on why it still holds importance.

Providing Holistic Design Understanding

Let’s break down what this means first. Design, by its very nature, is the act of taking something that doesn’t exist and putting it into a format that allows engineers or creators of any sort to manifest it into reality. As such, design has to balance creativity and imagination with practicality and logistics.

A prototype, whether digital or physical, helps put into perspective a holistic image of the design of a product. It takes a conceptual framework and implements it into a version that most closely resembles how the actual product would look.

Reduces Design Error

Anyone who’s worked as a designer or with one knows that design is an imperfect art. No first draft/model is ever the right one, and additions or revisions to design are always endless. This is why prototyping is extremely important.

You don’t want to be halfway through building a product only to realize that there’s an error in the basic design of the item. A prototype helps designers, and other product management team members to be able to look at the design in 3D. Errors that emerge can be identified and fixed right away.

Testing Capabilities Increase

Testing is often one of the most important aspects of product creation. R&D can take a long time just because testing and revising can take so long. However, innovation in product design can’t take place overnight, and prototyping helps preserve the space for said innovation and ingenuity.

For example, a firm that wants to create a new form of earphones needs to be able to test the product on different levels in terms of design. Ear comfort will have to be perfected for earphones, which will mean weeks of testing with different versions. Durability, stability and other UX measures can all be perfected here via prototyping.

A consultant works on product design and prototyping for a helmet system.

Allows for Better Collaboration

There’s no point in hiding the fact that product management teams can have intense conflicts during the product design and prototyping phase. However, the operational word here is prototyping since this is what aids the resolution of conflicts most of all.

Not only does a prototype make ideas and concepts into a reality that everyone can see, but it also helps people make their arguments and points in a more successful way. More clarity means better communication, which is the cornerstone of successful collaboration.

Investor Appeal

There’s no way to downplay investor appeal. Investors are not designers or engineers. They want to be served a product on a silver platter before they’ll agree to invest in it. This means offering the clearest possible visualization of the product — the prototype. This is especially important if you’re getting funds for a product that hasn’t been seen before.

If your current product management process doesn’t involve prototyping, there’s no reason to fear the worst. Our product design and prototyping services can help take that burden off of you.

Our business innovation consultancy focuses on tech-integrated solutions that help you incorporate service design, design thinking, business origami, and more to properly transform into a business of the future.

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