A prototype is a 3D model of an item, and it is used as the basis for creating the final product. It may or may not have functionality. Prototyping is an important part of creating a new product and building a brand. Before goods can be manufactured in mass, an example should be created to show to investors, drum up interest among the target audience, and make final production simpler and easier. Read on for three tips that can help the prototyping process go more smoothly.
1. Be a Team Player
The journey that takes an item from an idea in your head to a sellable product can be full of twists and turns. It helps to get others on board and employ the help of experts. Consider working with a lawyer to file patents, and use professional injection molding services for a more polished prototype. Know your strengths, and also know when to reach out to those whose skill sets differ from yours.
2. Keep Your Priorities Clear
When designing the prototype, you’ll quickly discover that you need to be extremely specific to achieve a workable product. List out possible features and organize them by priority. Have one list of “need to have” features, one of “nice to have” or “want to have” features, and one of “not needed” features. Needs would include things that the product would not work without. Wants are features that make your product stand out, but aren’t essential to its functioning. The not-needed list is valuable because superfluous features can often be expensive, so it’s a good idea to know ahead of time which things you can nix from the start.
3. Never Stop Researching
Products can go through multiple iterations before the final version sees the shelves of your local store. When the prototype is in the testing stage, try to get it in the hands of the most applicable users to your audience. Track users’ feedback in detail, and be sure to ask clear and specific questions. This process can help you fix malfunctions or weaknesses before mass production, thereby potentially saving a large amount of cost and headache.
Prototyping a new product can be gratifying and exciting. You may have dreamed of making your idea a reality for some time, or you may have had a flash of inspiration. Your journey through the prototyping, manufacturing and selling process can have ups and downs, but it can also be incredibly educational and even life-changing.