The new product design and manufacturing process can be very long and if you are excited about bringing your product to market, you might decide to skip a few steps. Many businesses decide that they don’t need a product prototype because they’ve done their market research and they are confident that the product will be a hit. They consider prototyping an unnecessary expense and a waste of time, so they just push ahead with the product.
Sometimes, this gamble pays off, but more often than not, you end up with a worse product as a result. Prototyping is a very important part of the product design process and it has a number of benefits. Here’s why you should always create a prototype before launching a new product.
Get Tangible Feedback From A Real Audience
During the design stages, you do a lot of market research and you make assumptions about the kinds of products people will be interested in. These assumptions are based on previous successes, buying behavior, and general information about trends in the industry. In some cases, these assumptions are accurate and the product works. However, you can’t guarantee that people will like a product based on a set of data. That’s why hypothesis driven development is so important and prototyping is a big part of that. Instead of deciding what the customer wants and then launching your product, you make some initial assumptions about what you think they want. Then, you create a prototype and test it with a real audience. Using their feedback, you can then change your assumptions and refine your design a few times, creating a much better final product.
Test The Functionality
Manufacturing products isn’t cheap and the last thing you want is to waste a lot of money making products that don’t work properly because the design isn’t right. By creating a prototype, you can make sure that the product functions exactly as you want it to, and then make some tweaks to improve functionality and ultimately boost the experience for the customer.
Try Different Materials
Finding the right materials to manufacture your product is so important. You want to make products that are durable, but you also need to consider the environmental impact of the materials you use. Aesthetics have a role to play as well, and finding a balance between all of these different elements can be tough. Some materials look great but they’re not very strong, while others are durable but not great for the environment. Prototyping allows you to try out a lot of different options and find the perfect material for your product.
If your business is still in the early stages and you are trying to attract investors, you’re going to need a prototype. You won’t get the money you need unless you can actually prove that the product is good, and the best way to do that is to let them get hands-on with a working prototype.
Skipping the prototype stage is never a good idea. By prototyping, you always end up with a better product that sells more.