In order to move forward with developing a product, be it digital or physical, it is important to first create a prototype. This prototype is simply a concept that represents a business idea, and it is used to present to stakeholders or audience in order to test the viability of the product and validate assumptions. That’s why we want to show you some prototype examples to give you an idea of where to start.
Whether you need hardware development services, outsourced product development, or just rapid prototyping services, the examples of prototypes shown in this article will help you to present your idea in an interesting way.
Why are prototypes important?
Every idea needs to be tested, it doesn’t matter if it looks too good to fail. When you want to start a business, you outline the services or products you want to sell, prices, logistics costs, potential customers, and cities where you want to operate, however, that doesn’t mean your idea will be successful.
We could say a prototype is the perfect way to fail fast without risking your budget. A prototype allows you to test the feasibility of your project, the features, the requirements, costs, and potential revenues. With a prototype, you can:
- Validate product’s design.
- Attract the attention of investors.
- Protect your Intellectual property.
- Test and improve the final product.
Think of how many devices, software, apps and services you see in the market, they all went through a prototyping process.
Let’s see some examples of prototypes you can implement to test the viability of your product or service.
1. Paper prototype
Perhaps you are looking for a technological example to build your business idea, but many times, a startup can test its idea by simply using paper and some cards.
A paper prototype is when you make a mockup of your idea using things like sticky notes or drawing it out on a whiteboard or poster. The cost is very low, but it requires a lot of creativity and patience to draw and explain your idea.
When can I use a paper prototype?
This prototype example can be used for showing potential customers or small investors about your app, platform, or device.
Of course, you need to arrange some meetings where you can show them how your product would work, and they need to interact with the papers you created.
What is the benefit of this prototype?
You get your idea quickly validated. And you can decide to move on to a more advanced part of the prototype development process.
With a cool prototype example like this, you could simply show the user experience and receive feedback. The other advantage here is that you save thousands of dollars in app development.
You can find more ideas for paper prototypes here.
Another example of a prototype you can use for your business idea is wireframes; These are diagrams of your product. And it is commonly used for websites, apps and software.
This prototype shows a simple version of your idea or product. You can show text, images, buttons, every feature it may have.
It is worth mentioning that by using this prototype, you can get a detailed structure of how your product may work, and developers or designers can add valuable improvements according to that.
Bear in mind that this prototype won’t probably get the attention of an investor, since watching a lot of diagrams on a screen won’t be as exciting as testing it with a physical prototype.
3. Landing page
Can you sell a prototype just with a landing page? Yes, we actually did it.
We built an open source macro pad, and from its early stage, we knew it would be a great product. So we decided to launch a landing page with the benefits of our DeepDeck Macropad.
Then, from that website, we connected to a crowdfunding platform where people interested in the project would donate to support the development of the project.
Thanks to that landing, we could accomplish the goal we set on 5,000 dollars to develop the prototype, however, the campaign was so successful that we got 202% funding, that is, over 10,000 dollars.
4. Video prototype
Among successful examples of prototypes, you can find the famous story of Dropbox. This platform sold the idea to hundreds of people through a video explaining the idea they wanted to implement.
You can use animation, slides, or any other way that allows you to represent or explain the product or service you want to develop.
If you have some testimonials, you could use them as well. Think of any elements that can support your business idea, and include them in your video.
5. Digital Prototype
Among the best prototype examples, you can get a 3D model of your project. A good industrial designer can help you design your product and make it appealing to potential investors.
You can design your own prototype, but keep in mind that it needs to be attractive enough to bring attention to your product. It is also necessary to design and show every part of your product in order to explain their functions in the prototype.
This is an example of prototypes we have developed thanks to digital prototyping:
6. 3D printing
3D printing is an easy and fast way to get a prototype. You need to have a good design (3D model made in a CAD software) and a 3D printing machine.
We have experience in 3D printing, nowadays, people talk about rapid prototyping. It is a methodology to design and get a physical product in a short time.
Depending on the rapid prototyping method you use,you will have a prototype with different characteristics. Depending on your budget and the intention of your prototype, you can select the best option for you.
7. Physical model
This is the last prototype example we will show in this article. The most reliable way to test your product is through product prototype development.
You can build a low fidelity or a high fidelity prototype; it depends on the budget you have. We explain this further in an article called how to make my prototype.
A physical model will be useful for your business, since you will be able to test your prototype with potential customers, and with investors. By testing your prototype, you get great feedback that can guide you on the necessary steps to improve your product.
This stage of the prototyping process requires the help of companies specialized in hardware and software, since you will require engineers that have knowledge of electronics, firmware, IoT, and product development.
We hope these examples of prototypes help you to get inspired, use the best one for your business idea, it all depends on what your goal is.
If you need an IoT hardware development company to help you develop your prototype, count on the services of DeepSea Developments.