Industry Proto-mold Co., Ltd.
Industry Proto-mold Co., Ltd.

What is the Product Prototype? Why Do We Need It?

In recent years, due to the rapid growth of the product industry, people are also becoming aware of the importance of prototypes. Since that is the foundation of a product, prototyping is crucial in making a product.

Ⅰ. What is "product prototype"?

The basic meaning of a product prototype is: a beta version of a product.

When product managers or designers conceive a product, they want to convey their ideas to their colleagues or users and get some feedback, and then they need a prototype.

Because it can simulate real usage scenarios, the final interaction between the user and the interface, the whole app or just a single interaction, or even the way the final product works.

When it comes to proto mold products, having a product prototype is crucial as it allows for the simulation of real usage scenarios and the evaluation of the user-interface interaction and functionality. Whether it's the entire application, a single interaction, or even the overall operation of the final product, a prototype enables a comprehensive understanding and refinement of the design before moving forward with production.

It is like a real product, complete with the logic and path of use, and can test the usability and feasibility of the product in terms of design.

Although, product prototyping is not the only way to convey product concepts. Wireframes, flowcharts, information architecture, visual models, etc. can be substituted. However, compared to these methods, they do not show "interactivity" as well as prototypes.

Ⅱ. Why do we need product prototypes?

As I said earlier, the main purpose of prototyping is to test the design (and product idea) before making the actual product. Whether to test or not is directly related to the success of the product.

Generally when a product is used by users for the first time, it is likely to be spit out by them. If it is directly launched, it will affect the product development. Therefore, it is always better to use a prototype to gather product feedback during the low-risk research phase and before public release.

The following are the implications of using product prototypes.

1. Ensure that the design concept works as expected. In most cases, it is relatively easy to have actual users test the product concept. Once users have a prototype of the product that they can interact with, the product team will be able to see how the target audience is using the product. Based on this feedback, the initial concept can be adjusted.

2. Make sure that users can use the product smoothly. The need for a product prototype is to identify and address feasibility issues before the product is released. It tests out areas of the product that need improvement. This is the reason why so many product teams create prototypes, let users test them, and iterate on the design until it is good enough.

As a trusted protomold company, we recognize the importance of ensuring a smooth user experience with our products. By utilizing product prototypes, we can identify and address any feasibility issues early on, allowing us to make necessary improvements and iterate on the design until it reaches the desired level of quality and usability.

3. Save money. Generally speaking, writing code for a testable product involves front-end, back-end, design, and testing, while prototyping requires only a product manager or designer. Buying prototype tools is not that expensive.

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