5 Prototypes Your Prototype Design Firm Could Make For Your Start-up

Five Prototypes Your Start-up Should be Making

MAKO Design + Invent – November 9, 2017

Prototypes are critical in the development of your products but what many people don’t realize is how prototype design differs in your stages of development. Here are five types of prototypes your prototype design firm should be telling you about and creating for you.

Concept prototype

A high-level application prototype that illustrates the product vision through its functionality, design, structure and operational characteristics. A concept prototype design helps you envision the look and feel in the early stages of your product development and can be done online, on paper, or both. A professional prototype design firm like MAKO will create the concept design as a 3D CAD.

A prototype design firm will give you a computer automated design for one of their design phases.

3D CAD concept design of our client’s new bottle created for music festival attendees.

Feasibility prototype

A feasibility prototype helps you determine the feasibility of your solution by ensuring all the pieces fit together properly. This type of prototype will help you confirm the components of the product work properly and solve any problems you are trying to address with your product. This is where a prototype design firm would use their mechanical engineers to ensure moving parts function properly.

Horizontal prototype

This type of prototype design is essentially the outer shell of your system. Typically a horizontal prototype doesn’t include the processing of your product but allows you to see the user interface. For example, you’d see a system’s menu but it wouldn’t be functional or it would include dummy screens. This type of prototype design is usually developed in the early stages but can be expanded on in the later stages by the prototype design firm to evolve into the final product.

A prototype design firm will often urge a start up to create one of these to show to investors.

The outer shell of a headphone prototype, which is not functional but serves as a “looks like, feels like” model.

Vertical prototype

A vertical prototype is a stripped down version of the core functions of your product. It usually includes some functionality but is created to primarily access data. This type of prototype design helps demonstrate a “working” system but it won’t be fully functional or fine-tuned. This prototype is usually developed in the later stages of development.

Functional storyboarding

This type of prototype design is a method that helps model the user interface and the application flow. A storyboard would contain frames that represent different aspects of your product like frames within an application you intend to build. Using this type of prototype helps the user see a map of how the business and system will function.

What type of prototype is right for the stage of your product design?

MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to small businesses, startups, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Feel free to Contact Us anytime for help with your project.

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