Constructing a quality prototype is often a crucial part of the development process. A prototype that is polished, consistent and able to demonstrate the full range of features as the finished product can be a powerful resource for impressing investors and raising the necessary capital. A few helpful tips can help ensure that prototyping your new products can be done more easily, cost-effectively and with superior results.
Stay Focused on Core Features
Feature creep can be a real problem during the develop cycle, especially when constructing an initial prototype. Staying focused on the most important features helps to keep costs from getting out of hand while ensuring the time and effort of the development team is being spent more effectively. Trying to do too much at once is a common misstep that can even the most promising prototypes to failure.
While major mechanical components are often easy enough to test and assess for both consistency and function, failure within an electronic component can be more difficult to track down. Using only the highest quality parts and components like rigid flex circuit boards can ensure that technical issues are less likely to become a problem. An electronics failure when presenting your prototype to potential investors can have all sorts of consequences.
Using Realistic Assets
Constructing a prototype using assets that are rare, too expensive or difficult to source is another misstep you would be wise to avoid. While being limited to only the parts and components that will be available for production can slow development down, it can allow you to minimize the problems that may be caused by potential obstacles or future bottlenecks.
A crude mock-up or low-fidelity working model of your products may be enough to work out the design bugs, but a rough finish can be a major liability during a product demo. A more polished prototype can greatly aid in impressing potential investors, and you would do well to ensure your team spends at least a little time and effort on your prototype’s appearance.
Design Evolution Ongoing Changes
Don’t be afraid to make a few last-minute changes or additions to your design. Development is often a messy process and businesses and those who are afraid to color outside the lines could end up hamstringing their efforts. Just be sure to ensure that last-minute changes don’t lead to feature creep or render your prototype inoperable prior to major demonstration.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.