How do you design and market a product so that it will succeed? It does not make sense simply to chance it and release something in the hope that it will appeal to users, or to hope that having something new will in itself generate enough interest.
Critically, the product development process should not happen in isolation from the outward-facing requirements of market research and appealing to target audiences.
“You need to have a clear target audience for your product, and it must have something to offer that other competing products don’t have. People want to know what a product will do for them. For it simply to be new isn’t enough.”
At what stage do a product’s strengths or shortcomings reveal themselves? If it is after it has gone into full production and gone on sale, is this too late?
“The key thing about rapid prototyping is that it allows product designers to come up with something tangible in advance of the finished product which they can then use this to gauge consumer reaction”
This is how product designers, and manufacturers, can put service first, so that they can discover what people want from a product, rather than making assumptions, which could then prove costly if mistaken.
“Knowing responses to your product in advance is a hugely valuable thing.”
More Benefits of Rapid Prototyping
Having the means to quickly and cost-effectively prototype a product means keeping more options open and gaining a better understanding of your customers.
“Don’t just work on assumptions. Tighten up your feedback cycle using prototyping and take a lot of the risk out of designing and launching your product.”
Prototyping encourages a more open-minded approach to product development, because it can create the conditions where you are more free to experiment, then to gain feedback, and experiment some more.
“It’s about fine-tuning what you have, without feeling you’re putting all your eggs in one basket.”
Product developers can closely align design with their market research, trying out a product with real users, and make changes in accordance with responses received from product testing”
“You can avoid the potentially huge costs of having to redevelop your product by using rapid prototyping to front-load the trial-and-error aspects of it.”
“It also means you can have a much more joined-up approach to the whole process,” Jeremy concludes, “from what goes on behind the scenes to the front-of-house activity of marketing and promotion.”