Why is Prototyping Essential for Your New Product Development?

Uppdaterad: 21 dec 2020

If you have a great product idea locked in your head, it is time to familiarize yourself with prototyping. Product development is an exciting journey that involves several steps before reaching a mass audience. Each product aims to solve a problem for a specific target audience. With prototyping, you can evaluate whether your proposed product really offers the attempted solution. Prototyping is the first stage of the product development process, which helps to validate initial product ideas.

Fail faster, succeed sooner’ — David Kelley, founder of IDEO

What Exactly is a Prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary version of the product you want to build. In the context of a digital product, a prototype refers to a simulation of the interaction between the users and the interface. It serves to demonstrate and validate the design and functions of the product, without coding. A prototype could be something from simple hand-drawn sketches to an interactive visualization or clickable trailer of the product. Prototypes are used for testing and getting feedback before full-scale product development.

What are the different types of prototyping?

Low fidelity: Paper prototyping

Paper prototyping is a useful practice in the early stage of the design process when your team needs to explore different approaches. Paper models simulate computer or web/mobile applications that represent the user interface of the product. Paper prototypes are lo-fi techniques, which are fast and inexpensive to create. While lo-fi prototypes are relatively simple approaches, they are useful for early visualization and rapid iteration. The drawbacks of paper prototypes come from the lack of realistic and detailed design and limited user interactions.

Medium fidelity

A prototype with limited practical functionalities is often considered as a medium fi prototype. This type of product development is most common for the intermediate stages of your product development when moving from lo-fi to hi-fi.

High fidelity: Digital prototyping

Hi-fi prototypes are closest to your actual final product (remember that prototypes are NOT the final product) providing a realistic experience of the product with all functionalities. Those kinds of prototypes are always in a digital form and usually executed after paper prototyping. Hi-fi prototypes are often interactive, allowing you to navigate the prototype by clicking different UI elements. A digital prototype is a great way to implement usability testing based on the simulation of user interactions and user interface. Hi-fi prototypes help to explore all the aspects of your product to ensure it functions as intended.

Do you want to see how we helped our clients with prototyping? Read our Case Studies.

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