What is a product prototype? Why do we need to?

2022-12-06 17:06 admin

        What is a product prototype? Why do we need to?

In recent years, due to the rapid growth of the product industry, people have also begun to realize the importance of prototypes. Because that is the foundation of the product, the shaping of the prototype is crucial when making the product.

1. What is a "product prototype"?

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

When product managers or designers are conceiving products, they want to communicate their ideas to their colleagues or users and get some feedback. At this time, prototypes are needed.

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

It is like a real product, which completely presents the use logic and path of the product, and can test the usability and feasibility of the product design.

Although, product prototyping is not the only way to communicate a product concept. Wireframes, flowcharts, information architecture, visual mockups, etc. can all be substituted. However, compared to these methods, they are not as "interactive" as prototypes.

2. Why do we need product prototypes?

As I said, prototyping is mostly about testing designs (and product ideas) before making the actual product. Whether or not testing is performed is directly related to the success of the product.

When a general product is used by a user for the first time, it is likely to be complained by the user. If it is a direct listing, it will affect product development. Therefore, it is always better to use prototypes to collect product feedback during the low-stakes research phase and before public release.

Here's what it means to use product prototypes:

1. Make sure the design concept works as expected. In most cases, it is relatively easy to get actual users to test product concepts. Once users have an interactive prototype of the product, the product team can 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 necessity of a product prototype is to discover and resolve feasibility issues before the product is released. It can test out where the product needs to be improved. That's why so many product teams create prototypes, let users test them, and iterate on the design until it's good enough.

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

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