Prototype testing is a necessary part of a business to make a valid proof of concept that would later attract buyers and investors. It offers insight on what needs to be improved in a product or service, and what needs to be taken out. It starts with the market need assumption, followed by the idea that serves this need, then developing a prototype for the idea, testing the prototype, and finally receiving customers’ feedback regarding the idea. This will result in either validating or changing the solution or even the tackled problem.
How to use this tool?
Step 1: Define the customer's needs.
Step 2: Define an idea that serves this need
Step 3: Turn this idea into a prototype.
Step 4: Test this prototype with potential customers
Step 5: Validate or redefine the problem
Joseph lives in a densely populated city where trash often overflows and leaks onto the street. He wanted to fix that issue. He thought that if he could somehow compress the trash at the trash bins, it would be compacted and would not over flow in the streets. He identified his problem, which is trash overflow, and he came up with an idea, which is trash compactors.
He developed a working prototype and got it to work. He took it to the street with a sign that explained its function so people could try it out with various types of trash as they walked through the city. He found that not all the people actually used his product. When he asked people, they said that it might be useful but it is hard to use as they are not able to carry the trash after it is compressed. Joseph worked on this feedback and decided that compactors should be inside the main trash bin. So, he designed another prototype for a trash bin with an internal compactor. This way he solved the main problem he identified in the first place, and thorough testing, he identified the true customer need and designed a functional product that people will actually use.
Prototyping allows users to visualize the product or service and can be used to estimate market appeal.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Tool:
Although this tool sets a solid framework for prototyping, it does not offer many insights on what exactly needs to be done or fixed. This is the job of other marketing tools that would measure the market demands.