What is prototyping in design thinking?
In the early years of technology, inventors rode on the theme that people do not know what they want until they are presented with it. Inventors doubled as philosophers, and they mainly relied on their intuition. Fast forward to now, technology is taking an all-inclusive route. Imagination is no longer exclusive to inventors. People know what they want, hence, the age of human-based solutions.
Tech startups are faced with the daunting task of keeping up with insatiable but specific human demands. As a result, prototyping and testing have become necessary for a product to succeed. You need user validation of your product to be sure that you are on the right path. Prototyping is the fourth stage in the five stages of design thinking that allows you to test your ideas fast, spot errors, and improve your product before launch.
Many tech startups often undermine prototyping. This is partly because some believe the in the theme of early tech inventors. They also mistake their ability to raise funds as product acceptance.
Investors are not consumers, so it came as no shock when the CEO of Quibi announced that the company was “winding down” activities just six months after its launch in April 2020. Users knew it would fail even before it eventually did. Which begs the question: why would a company that was able to raise over $1.7 billion (about twice the cost of an inexpensive major league baseball team) in funds fail to test their product thoroughly before launch?
As much as we want to blame the pandemic, one thing remained; the company belittled the place of user testing and prototyping. In its stead, it relied on hype. You should not make the same error. Prototyping is designed to save time, cost, and energy. You can be more confident about your product if a sample version has been created and tested repeatedly.
Again, your ability to raise funds only shows that your product is valid, but its success or market acceptance is entirely up to user credibility. As established in our previous article, design thinking is for everyone; every department, including testers and users, plays a vital role in making a product or service.
Read more about the design thinking process here. You can also learn more about design thinking and its function when you enroll in our free UX design Bootcamp.