You’ve heard the saying, begin with the end in mind, right?
Many prototypes are manufactured at the end of the design phase to identify flaws in a product so they can be corrected. A service prototype has the same purpose of revealing aspects of a product that should be improved, but they happen during the development toward the end product.
How Service Prototyping Works
A service prototype will simulate the final stages of a product without being fully developed.
A great example is an “Alpha” release of a software product. These are generally given to a select group of people for free or at a low barrier of entry. It will contain all the core functions of its purpose, but will most likely not be very polished. The feedback that the people who used it provide will serve as a guiding point in what further stages of development the product may continue on. Similar strategies can be taken to craft a new raw product and get feedback for pushing to larger manufacturing.
When to use Service Prototyping?
Service prototyping is a great way to test the value of a product to a targeted demographic while not having to invest too heavily in the product development stage. It can be key for start-up companies to use some form of service prototyping to see what the demand of the product potentially is.
Obviously not all products can be prototyped when their designs aren’t closer to the later stages of development, and not all parts can be service prototyped.
It is also a good idea to fully flesh out as much as possible any products that you plan on presenting to investors; the more polished ideas show how much time, effort, and thought has been put into the product and makes it less of a risk to invest in. While using a service prototype isn’t ideal for every new product, there are some benefits when the option is available.
For any questions on product prototyping, contact us here.