A prototype operates as an early model or sample of the product we want to build for our branding. A prototype elaborates on the sample of the final product. It could be in the form of a drawn sketch or a simple model that can serve as the product’s face until its final materialization. The process of creating a product requires ample time and experimentation before it can come to fruition. It needs to undergo specific steps before presented to a broad audience.
It would be best if you examined whether the product you are to provide to your users is effective or not. Whether it solves their user’s problems and fulfills their needs. This is where the necessity of a prototype comes in. It functions as the unfinished version of the product and is tested using different stakeholders and users. You need to collaborate with users, gain their feedback, and make the necessary modifications or alterations to clarify how your product can be formed and become useful.
It is more convenient for you to receive input from users and readjust your product in its initial state before readying it for your target audience. There is a myriad of reasons why a prototype is vital for your product success. We will discuss that in the following.
Prototyping will enable you to understand what kind of look and feel you can generate from the product before reaching its final stage. It also gives you an answer as to why you are designing the product in the first place. It also gives you a clear view of what kind of audience you are directing this product to. Enhancement of your design’s purpose and intent will enable you to have a clear picture of the final product.
The primary importance of a prototype is to receive feedback. You need to introduce your model to a few members and allow them to scrutinize the prototype on their terms. Once they review your product, you will get adequate information about the areas where you can improve upon your work before finalization. Feedback during the product building process is essential to adding new features and redesign the product. Test all your prototypes with your audience until you can see where it is effective. Expand on the critique to your team members and stakeholders and decide collectively.
If you overlook the prototyping process, there are likely more chances for your final product’s failure. The product may not work with a larger audience, making your time and money investments a waste. It would require a dramatic rework and restructuring of the entire product. You cannot risk repeating this cycle, as well. With a prototype in place, it is beneficial to you to implement the essential changes to your product before it proceeds to become finalized. This will help you secure your goals at an accelerated pace with more money in your possession.
You can have different iterations with prototyping before you get to its final phase. You need validation for your product and a sense of security before you can launch it. Going about it without the prototyping process will make you feel worried and vulnerable to a multitude of risks. You can have surety and certainty through the iterative process in building what is required. This will give you the emotional boost you need to create your product with confidence.
Your users are your main priority. You need to address and observe them collectively to better serve them and cater to them. Prototyping is the best method for achieving this idea. The primary purpose of a prototype is to help you gain insight into how valuable and usable your product is to the user. You would be able to efficiently conduct your research and demonstrate how your product can improve their lives and address their pain points.
There are different methods of prototyping; you just need to choose the objective approach that suits your product and falls under your budget and resources.
Low Fidelity or Lo-Fi are paper prototypes that are best suited in the developing stages of the process. This prototype allows changes to the product with convenience. It is more focused on how the product operates as opposed to how it looks. This gives product designers better insight pertaining to the product feedback.
Medium Fidelity Prototype is a prototype where limited functional products are created based on user scenarios. It is the best method for the in-between phase of your product development when you transition from low fidelity to high fidelity.
There is a common misconception that high fidelity is the final product phase. It is more of a prototype that is closely related to what the final product should look like. This process requires more costs and time than the other two strategies.
In the case of discussing the more complicated aspects of the product, high fidelity is the ideal approach. However, high fidelity has its share of cons. Presenting users with a high-fidelity prototype will only confuse them and would not have the ability to convey basic knowledge of the product to them. It will not make the user experience convenient under any circumstances, so it is preferable to use the other fidelity prototypes instead of saving time and money.
Creating a prototype is a risky endeavor and a long-term process. You can fast track your product development by acquiring the services of a flat fee graphic design agency instead. They will have the expertise to develop your prototypes and share the most effective ones with you.
Tabish Khalid works as the Digital Marketing Manager for Designster. He develops and implements digital strategies for Designster, along with aligning business goals with digital marketing activities. He actively contributes articles related to digital and content marketing.