To truly understand how a customer is going to experience a product or service, that product or service must be tested and refined before delivering it to the masses. The automobile industry has been building prototypes (or form studies) for centuries and even with digital technology, the clay model is still the go-to to really capture the human element and "feel" the total experience - the adventure - like the customer would.
By developing and testing prototypes, designers, developers, marketers and stakeholders can identify problems early on saving both time and money and ultimately leading to a better final product.
There are three different prototype forms:
- User Experience prototype
- Visual/form study prototype
- Functional prototype
There are also three levels of prototype complexity:
- Low fidelity
- Medium fidelity
- High fidelity
Get full explanations of prototype forms and intricacy variations. At Rhythm, we are seeing our clients taking a more vested interest in the prototype development and testing phase of projects.
Some of the reasons why you should include prototyping in your project schedule include:
1. You gather early insights into how the final product will work.
2. Prototypes allow for a faster review process compared to paper wireframes.
3. Prototypes can be shared and presented to other team members involved in the approval process and make it easier for them to review (no more 60+ page documents with wireframes).
4. Prototypes offer the most accurate deliverable to test a product if business goals, user needs and feasibility are aligned.
5. Most important, prototypes lead to a better product that achieves business goals.
Does including a prototype lengthen project time and increase the project budget?
No. When projects include a prototype, discoveries are made in earlier stages and problems are solved before getting deeper into the project which ultimately avoids additional costs and extended timelines down the road.
At Rhythm, we recognize the need for prototypes based on the projects we work on and when we determine which form and level of prototype is needed, we quote projects with the recommended prototype in the estimate and workplan.
Ready to work with Rhythm? Let's create amazing experiences for customers together.