Thinking about bringing a new product to the market?
Well, you’ve got your work cut out! There’s a long road ahead.
Indeed, 30,000 new products are brought into the world each and every year. According to the same source, only 5% of them succeed. That equates to a whopping 28,500 products that end up failing.
Don’t be disheartened though. It’s clearly possible to design and produce a popular product. You just have to go about it in the right way.
Prototyping is pivotal in this endeavor.
Prototyped design helps you work out your product’s viability ahead of time. Instead of jumping straight into the final product, you create a series of iterations and tests at every phase.
The trick is knowing when your prototype is ready for the masses! Looking to find out exactly that?
Read on for 7 key indications that you’ve perfected your prototype.
1. It Feels Right
Of course, you can’t always rely on your intuition.
Sometimes, though, you’ve got to trust your gut.
You’ve been on this project since its humble beginnings. You’ve been involved with each new iteration and version of the prototypes, listening to feedback and updating as required.
That depth of insight gives you a wide-ranging awareness of the product and project. Combine that with industry understanding and gut feelings—and you’ll know if it’s as good as it can be, or if further improvements are required.
Listen to what your heart is telling. Is it perfect, or isn’t it?
2. No Negative Feedback
It goes without saying that poor responses to your prototype indicates the need for further work!
At the end of the day, you need the product to be a hit on the market. If a sample group of users slate it during the testing phase, then it’s safe to assume the same would happen at scale.
In simple terms, you’re looking for an overwhelmingly positive response to the prototype. Users should enjoy the experience of interacting with it; there should be no glaring errors that they can identify with the design.
Be open-minded and receptive to negative responses. See it as an education.
After all, getting this sort of insight is exactly why you test prototypes in this way! Use it to go back into the design process and create an updated and improved version.
3. No Distractions from Core Functionality
The testing phase of finalizing your prototypes is key.
After days, weeks or months of design, hustle, and creation, you finally hand the product over to a user. It’s an exciting time! You learn whether the product works as intended, and how people respond to it.
Try to pay attention to the users’ attention throughout this testing phase. Look for any signs of distraction away from the prototype’s core functionality.
The prototype might have a singular function; if users naturally focus on other elements of the product, then it isn’t serving its purpose.
Conversely, it’s a good sign when users intuit the functionality, using it as intended and without being distracted by other components.
4. It Meets All Goals and Expectations
Nobody creates a prototype without trying to achieve something.
Presumably, your team entered this specific prototype creation process with a series of goals in mind. For example, you might have been trying to experiment with the product’s usability, concept, or, for digital products, the copy and navigation.
In any case, another clear sign that you’ve perfected your prototype is when it satisfies those goals you’d set at the start. After all, it’s done everything you needed of it.
Assuming you’re satisfied with the results, there might be no need to invest in further prototypes.
5. It Isn’t Quite Perfect
Okay, so this point might seem a little out of left-field.
But hear us out!
Basically, there’s something to be said for creating a prototype that isn’t quite perfect. Or, to put it another way, perfect prototypes tend to be imperfect in nature.
Why? Because seeking perfection is a recipe for seriously slowing down the process. You’re constantly to-ing and fro-ing, adding things and taking them away.
Perfection doesn’t exist; the pursuit of it hamstrings the creative process.
Make it your goal to get the prototype into the hands of users as soon as possible. Seek their feedback, good or bad, in record time. Doing so will speed things along and get you closer to the best final product possible.
Having your prototyping done by a pro will help in this way too. Learn more about this possibility by following the link.
6. It’s Cheap and Cheerful
This point applies more to earlier prototypes.
Remember, you’re unlikely to just do one! Almost every product you see on the market will have progressed through a series of ever-improving iterations. A typical trajectory might take you through Mach 1, 2 and then 3, before looking to create the real deal.
The closer you get to the finished product, the more time, money and effort you invest into the prototype.
At the start, you’re looking to prioritize speed and expense. The concept should be pulled together in bare-bones style and put into the hands of your audience.
That way you don’t waste time and valuable resources on a fancy model that was doomed from the very beginning. Take a ‘fail early, learn fast’ approach.
7. It’s Feasible
A quick point to finish with:
Your final prototype is only ready for the world if its creation is truly feasible. Simply, will it work at scale, in the real world?
Can you produce it in a reasonable time and with enough margin to make it profitable? Does the prototype promise a final product that’ll succeed when it ‘goes live’?
If the answer’s no to any of these questions, then it’s back to the drawing board.
It might look and function great. But, if the end product isn’t commercially viable, then it’s hard to justify taking it forward.
Time to Perfect Your Prototyped Design!
Bringing a new product to the market?
You aren’t alone! Tens of thousands of new items hit the shelves every year.
Prototyped design is the only way to stand out from the crowd and ensure yours will succeed where most fail. Hopefully, this post will help you discern the state of prototype perfection you’re at currently!
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