You want to make products and solutions that work as soon as possible. The faster you can get your product out there, the faster you can start seeing ROI. The faster you can see a problem fixed and happy customers and clients.
There are two common ways to develop products and they are both wrong.
The first way involves churning stuff out as soon as possible, spitting it out into the world, and moving on. This way, you get a lot of cheap stuff, cheap apps and half-thought out solutions.
The second way involves spending a lot of time designing a product as thoughtfully and carefully as possible, making sure it is absolutely perfect before you launch. Your product might be better, but you’ve invested so much time into it, you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth it. And with our rapidly changing world, by the time you launch, your product might be obsolete or someone else might have done it already.
And for both ways you run the major risk of ending up with a product or a solution that people just don’t want to use.
The best way to design products is by combining these two methods. That’s basically what rapid prototyping means. You create prototypes, or concepts, as fast as possible and test them with sample customers. Then you go back and make a new prototype based on their feedback. You work quickly and test often.
For digital products, you’ll create versions of software that function minimally so that you can make sure it actually does what the customer wants it to do before you invest so much time into developing it.
In the end, by using rapid prototyping, you’ll end up with products and solutions that have been tailored and fine-tuned, but without the risk that they’ll flop once you’re finally done. You want to see a solid return on your investment? Make sure you know you’re making a valuable product.