One of the most exciting steps and parts about building a new product design is getting to the prototyping stage! Product design and inventing involve a lot of numerous stages before one can receive a physical product which is why it’s necessary to prepare properly and take the rights steps during the prototyping stage for a successful final product. Since prototyping is one of our Bay Area industrial design services, we’ve listed some of our top tips for prototyping to help inventors out during this crucial stage within their design process.
Tailor Your Prototype To Your Audience
Preparing to create and reveal a prototype can be nerve-racking. The prototyping stage might require more than one stage or trial in order to get the prototype perfect for trial. It’s important to remember that no matter the image you have in mind for the final outcome and look of your product, prototyping is all about testing its execution and performance in the eyes and hands of your target audience. Our Bay Area industrial design services recommend that during your prototyping stage, you must tailor the prototype itself to work well in the hands of the audiences who are testing out your prototype.
This means making sure that the prototype is simple and easy to use and clearly shows what it is trying to accomplish and solve for your target audience. In this way, when testing out your prototype and awaiting feedback from your audiences, you will get more accurate feedback on the performance of the product itself rather than how it looks, making it easier to go back and make the proper and needed adjustments that will make it work better.
Prime Your Audience
When you release a prototype, it’s important to let your audience know what to expect! Our Bay Area industrial design services understand that prototyping is all about testing your product and getting a sense of how your envisioned idea will work in real life, which means that the promises you made to your audience are all going to be tested within your first prototype reveal. Let your audience know what the prototype should do, what it should solve, and exactly what your audience will be shown once the prototype is presented. Not only does this create a more accurate representation of what your prototype is supposed to do but allows the expectations of your audience to be at a level that doesn’t set themselves, or yourself, up for disappointment. Remind them that the prototype is not final and will be improved and ask for constructive criticism to learn for more ways to improve and make your final product more efficient.
Sketch Out Your Prototype Ideas
From years of offering our Bay Area industrial design services, we know that before one begins their prototyping phase, it’s important to note down and list all the attributes, ideas, concepts, and details you want to see among the different versions of prototypes you plan to make. Sketching is a great way to clearly and thoroughly get down all your thoughts in a visually organized manner that not only allows you to take a step back and reassess your ideas and expectations but helps the designer understand the direction you have for your product.
Sometimes the ideas we have in our head may seem rough and abstract, which is why sketching is a great way to make your ideas more concrete and realistic, allowing you to understand more of what you want to achieve and create with your product. Sketching is also the most inexpensive way to create an idea and image of your product and explore different methods, looks, and ideas to creating the basic structure and overall look of your invention.
Prototype Only the Necessities
As our Bay Area industrial design services have created over thousands of products and have worked with a great number of talented inventors, we recognize that reaching the prototyping stage may be exciting, but still should be approached in a methodological manner. Inventors far too often pursue too much than they can handle at the wrong time. When creating your product, it’s always best to take things slow and thorough in order to not make any mistakes or hinder the design process. One way in which inventors can approach prototyping in a strategic manner is to ONLY prototype the parts that are necessary for their product.
This means that your first prototype should only include the base of your product in order to test out its functionality and performance. If you want to add details or refine the look of your prototype it is better to tackle those parts once you’ve proven that your products’ main functionality efficiently works, or else you’ll have too much to handle on your first prototype. Having more than one prototype is completely normal and actually recommended since it allows you to slowly refine and improve all parts of your product one by one until it is completed well with no mistakes.
Learn how Mako Design is still producing prototypes with new safety measures, here!
If you have a great new invention and you’d like to learn more about this process, get in touch with MAKO here and visit our website to find out more. Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-MAKO and we can set you up on a call with our product analyst!
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.