Chapter 1. Prototyping for Physical and Digital Products

There seem to be hundreds of new smart objects and apps reaching the market every day. With all of this competition, how do you know that your idea will be influential and that people will buy it? You’ve done the market research and found a viable sector, or you’re working with a team that has an idea and is rushing toward a minimum viable product (MVP). But how can you truly know that your ideal customer will benefit from your new product or app?

Prototyping and user testing is the best way to make viable products that are impactful for your users. By creating incrementally better prototypes throughout your process, you can get valuable feedback to improve your product. By using real people, instead of merely trusting your gut, and observing how they interact with your prototypes, you’ll see exactly where they get stuck, what they don’t understand, and their visceral reaction to the entire experience. Prototyping is a key to developing a good experience and good user experience design.

In this report, I’ll begin with the basics of what prototypes are, with examples from different industries. Then I’ll explain why prototyping is important, including the many reasons for and value of prototyping. I’ll dig into current approaches and more specifics for prototyping for physical and digital products. Finally, I’ll explain how to set up and run user tests with these prototypes.

Physical products in the context of this report ...

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