If your organization has an exciting product idea that remains at ground level, then you need to get versed in the world of prototyping while understanding all the value points it can bring. From digital prototyping to rapid prototyping, it is of high importance that you understand how the various manufacturing methods may apply to any of your given products. This article is intended to help manufacturing leaders who are relatively new to the space learn the value of this manufacturing service, while shedding light on how to find the best prototyping services from a company that will actually help you get your product to market faster, and at a lower cost.
What is a Prototype and Why are they Necessary?
A prototype is a developed product meant to remain in an experimental form. Prototypes are necessary because they enable engineers to fine tune a product to improve functionality, speed up production, improve the user experience, and reduce costs. A prototype also provides a jumping off point for manufacturers to make their product better than the competition’s.
Prototypes also enable manufacturers to get unbiased feedback and gain deep insight on design concepts while anticipating market reactions. In many cases prototypes are used in user testing sessions conducted by product experts where feedback is collected and used to make improvements that will be reflected in the final version of the part. Furthermore, this process helps brands determine market fit.
Can Wireframes and Mockups Replace Prototypes?
Unfortunately, some brands try to save money and time by putting all their stock into wireframes and mockups as opposed to manufacturing prototypes. Mockups and wireframes are really just early elements of the design process necessary for the production of prototypes. The wireframe is the bare bones of this process, as it presents the rawest elements of the origin. The mockup follows, which is a close resemblance of a prototype though it remains underdeveloped and isn’t operable nor does it enable interaction. Really, the mockup is just a model that gives a visual representation of what is to come.
Prototypes, on the other hand, abscond wireframes (blueprints) and mockups. They are actually functional parts that enable teams to gather depe insights from real user experience–something that a wireframe and mockup simply can’t provide. That said, prototypes help to ensure that a product enters the market with data-driven innovations that will give it a leg up over the competition.
Prototyping Services and Your Design IQ
Prototyping services will help you increase your design IQ and enable you to take something to market that is superior to competitor goods. Prototyping achieves this by giving brands and design teams the following benefits:
User Forecasting – Prototyping enables teams to gain insight into how people will interact with a product and how it functions in the real world.
Identify User Red Flags – When brands invest in prototyping services, they can identify potential design flaws before production begins, saving brands a great degree of time and money.
Making Educated Design Decisions – You never want to design a product around a hunch; prototyping services help brands make informed, educated decisions on how to produce various parts and the overall product. In some cases, multiple prototypes are created and run through A/B testing to determine everything from size, color, button placement, materials, and how components work with other parts. Then, after all data is collected, you can see which prototype outperformed the others.
What are the Different Kinds of Prototyping Services?
There are a broad range of prototyping services, and each one is ideally suited for a specific project with precise needs. Based on what is required, you may need to invest in one or more of the following prototyping services:
Fidelity – Asks how simplistic a design is and the degree of detail that has gone into the prototype.
Form – Is the prototype going to be banked on a digital or hand-drawn concept? Will it be for desktop or mobile?
Life Cycle – Is the prototype going to be a disposable, quick version that will be replaced with an updated type, or will its purpose be to journey through lengthier iterations that, overtime, will gain improvements?
Interactivity – What is the functionality level of the prototype? How can users interact with it?
Laszeray offers all the major prototyping services for a wide range of industries. Our in-house engineering teams are top in their field and offer a collaborative relationship with clients supported with flawless communication and all of the right technologies and creative outlets to maximize product value. Call Laszeray today and get a quote while learning how we can take your product to the next level and make it the marketplace star of its kind.