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Common Prototyping Problems: How To Fool-Proof Your Product!

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Key Takeaways:

  • Set realistic goals and expectations for the prototype before starting development.
  • Consider how the prototype will be used in a real-world setting.
  • Test out multiple prototypes to identify potential problems.
  • Make sure to document any changes made during the prototyping process.
  • Keep track of all assets used in the prototype for easy access later.
  • Regularly test and update your prototype to catch and fix potential issues before moving forward with production.
  • New Product Consulting offers engineering, industrial design, and prototyping services to customers in Denver, CO, and the surrounding areas.

According to a study, over 60% of products are released with design flaws due to the lack of prototyping. It is often because many companies don’t have a streamlined process for rapid prototyping.

Designers and engineers know that creating prototypes is essential to the product’s development. However, they often make costly mistakes due to a lack of experience with rapid prototyping.

It’s happened to all of us. We’ve spent countless hours designing and perfecting a product, only to have it fail in production. It can be very costly for a business in terms of money & time. The best way to avoid this is by using rapid prototyping techniques during the design process. New Product Consulting will discuss some of the most common prototyping problems and how to avoid them.

Common Prototyping Mistakes You Should Avoid

1. Not Defining the Scope of the Prototype

The most common mistake when creating a prototype is not properly defining the project’s scope. The scope should include what features will be included in the prototype and what will be excluded. Without a clear scope, it is easy to get lost when adding features that are not essential to the prototype, which can lead to later problems.

2. Lack of User Input during the Design Process

The most common problem with prototypes is that they are designed without input from potential users. It can lead to prototypes that are not user-friendly or do not meet the target audience’s needs. It is essential to involve potential users in the design process to avoid this problem from the beginning. It can be done through user research, surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

3. Unrealistic Expectations

Having unrealistic expectations is another common problem with prototypes. For example, a prototype may be expected to work perfectly even though it is still in the initial stages of product development. It can lead to frustration and disappointment when the prototype does not meet these expectations. To avoid this problem, it is crucial to set realistic goals and expectations for the prototype before starting development.

4. Overlooking Potential Problems

A common mistake made when developing prototypes is overlooking potential problems that could arise. For example, a prototype may be created without considering how it will be used in a real-world setting. It can lead to problems when the prototype is used, such as usability issues or unexpected errors. To avoid this problem, it is vital to consider how the prototype will be used in a real-world setting before starting product development.

Also, read our blog on the types of manufacturing processes for prototyping.

5. Not Planning for Changes

Another common mistake is not planning for changes that may occur during the prototyping process. You must have a plan for how changes will be made so that they can be made quickly and efficiently. Otherwise, the prototype may end up significantly different from the original vision, leading to frustration and confusion.

6. Not Testing the Prototype

A prototype should constantly be tested before it is considered complete. This testing can be done by using it yourself or by showing it to others and getting feedback. Testing allows you to find any problems with the prototype and

ensure it is user-friendly.

7. Not Iterating on the Prototype

After getting feedback on the prototype, it is essential to make changes and iterate on the design. This iteration can help improve the overall quality of the prototype and ensure that it meets the needs of those who will be using it. Without iteration, a prototype is likely to fall short of its potential.

8. Not Documenting the Prototype

Once a prototype is complete, it is important to document it thoroughly. This documentation should include everything from how the prototype was created to how it works and what features are included. Documentation helps to ensure that others can understand and use the prototype as intended.

9. Overlooking User Feedback

One of the most significant benefits of prototyping is that it allows you to gather feedback from users early in the product development process. However, this feedback is only helpful if you consider it when revising your prototype. Too often, developers create a prototype and then wholly ignore any feedback they receive from users. It can lead to problems later on down the road when users encounter issues with the final product. That could have been avoided if their feedback had been considered during the prototyping phase.

10. Not Testing Enough

Another common mistake made during prototyping is not testing enough. It’s essential to test your prototype with as many people as possible to get accurate feedback. Testing should also be done in various environments to simulate real-world use cases as much as possible. Skimping on testing can lead to severe problems when users encounter bugs or other issues that could have been avoided if more testing had been done during the prototyping phase.

11. Relying Too Much on Technology

While technology can be an excellent tool for prototyping, it’s important not to rely too heavily on it. Technology can often introduce new problems and complexities that didn’t exist before. It’s essential to keep things as simple as possible when prototyping so that you can focus on testing the core functionality of your product without getting bogged down by unnecessary technical details.

12. Not Documenting Changes

As you make changes to your prototype during development, it’s important to document those changes to keep track of what has been done and why certain decisions were made. This documentation will come in handy later when figuring out why something doesn’t work or how to reproduce a particular result. Without proper documentation, it can be challenging (if not impossible) to go back and figure out what was changed and why which can lead to severe problems down the road.

13. Not Keeping Track of Assets

Suppose your prototype includes digital assets (such as images, videos, or audio files). In that case, it’s essential to keep track of those assets and where they are located so you can easily find them later if needed. Working with a team of people on the same prototype is vital, as each person will need access to the same assets for things to work correctly.

Click here to learn the tips for succeeding in your product development journey.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to fool-proof your product and ensure a smooth transition from the prototype to the final product. Happy prototyping!

13. Not Keeping Track of Assets

Need Prototyping Services in Denver, CO? No Problem!

If you are looking for prototyping services in Denver, CO, please contact New Product Consulting. We offer free consultations to help you determine the best course of action for your product development needs. Our team is experienced in assisting companies in bringing their products to market quickly and efficiently. Contact us today to get started!