What Is Iterative Prototyping and Why You Should Use It for Your Next Product

by | Nov 18, 2020 | Design, Invention Tips, Prototype Design, Prototyping

The world of prototyping is complex and can be challenging to new inventors. A good way to wrap your head around it is to understand the lingo and educate yourself. To help, our Toronto product design firm discusses iterative prototyping and why you should use it to build your next product.

Iterative prototyping allows designers, entrepreneurs, and engineers to create designs and evaluate how useful or successful those designs are. This allows businesses and campaigns to increase conversions, improve usability, or convince stakeholders to invest in your product.

In this product design process, designers rapidly create a series of “rough drafts” of your product, allowing you to gather feedback before finalizing the design. By testing out different ideas with prototypes, you can improve your designs. The critical part is not the product itself, but the feedback you receive about the product design and the consumer experience.

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Includes Consumer Feedback Earlier in the Product Development Process

In traditional prototyping, designers finalize the design and create the prototype based on that design. Iterative prototyping, used by our Toronto product design firm, allows you to learn and evaluate if you’re on the right track. At its core, prototyping is an iterative and communication-driven approach to software and web design. It’s based upon the idea that you’re not going to get everything right the first-time round—and that’s OK.

With each rough draft of your product design, iterative prototyping allows for end-users to test the prototype and provide feedback. Based on that feedback, designers can adjust the prototype and repeat the testing if needed.

Essentially, iterative prototyping allows you to include the customer experience much earlier in the design process. This allows for a more informed and smooth process once the product is launched.

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Saves Money and Improves Efficiency in Product Design

The iterative design process relies on cost-effective tools like CAD software and rapid prototyping technology, such as 3D printers or CNC machines. These tools make it easy to produce multiple prototypes at relatively little cost. This is often more cost-effective than pooling most of your resources and labor into a single prototype, especially if that prototype ultimately doesn’t meet your end-user’s needs. You will also spend less time overall on the product development process, which saves labor costs and speeds up ROI.

It also allows for quick prototypes. The goal is to get a working prototype of the design as quickly as possible so that engineers can identify and fix potential mechanical problems, material challenges, or other details that can’t be easily foreseen during the design stage.

At our Toronto product design firm, we regularly use iterative prototyping and have saved time and resources for multiple clients.

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) 806-6256 (MAKO) and we can set you up on a call with our product analyst!

Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent

Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent

Company Team

MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.

From design to manufacturing your prototype, research the players involved

If you are hiring a professional design and development firm to create your product, do some research before selecting the firm. This also applies to the manufacturing stage of your product. You may need to work with multiple manufacturers for various parts of your product. Does the factory incorporate alternative sources of energy such as solar or wind into the manufacturing process? Are outputs and waste managed responsibly? Does it take steps to offset the CO2 produced during manufacturing?

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