Don’t Fall for These 4 Mistakes When Prototyping a New Product

Prototyping is an essential component of the design process. It allows you to test your ideas, watch them in action, and gain feedback—all so improvements can be implemented in later versions of the design for optimum quality and function.

But, all too often, the purpose of the prototyping phase is lost in translation, and developers lose time, money, and steam by having to backtrack through development, or worse: start over from scratch.

Luckily these mistakes can be easily avoided by following a few standard protocols that can save serious dollars and headache down the line.

Spending Too Much Time on the Prototype

Prototypes are meant to be imperfect learning tools used for feedback and guidance as you modify and perfect your idea. A common pitfall, particularly with new designers, is getting swept up in perfecting the prototype, sometimes for fear that a flawed prototype will discourage support.

The truth is quite the opposite. Designers who dedicate too much time and too many resources during the prototype phase are more likely to be frustrated by feedback or suggested changes, and less willing to make modifications. This, more than anything, is likely to alienate supporters and discourage you from moving forward with design.  

Not Understanding Regulatory Requirements

Every industry houses a significant amount of specific regulations that regulate product performance, purpose, and safety. Due diligence in identifying these regulations during the development phase can save designers countless hours of redesign.

To avoid this costly mistake, designers should review and plan around the regulatory standards early on, and follow up with a certified testing laboratory.

Waiting to Involve Suppliers

Not only is your goal to meet specific performance requirements, but you are also aiming to meet cost goals. Much of manufacturing costs are dependent upon decisions made early in the design development process. While it’s admirable that you’d want to wait to expose your product to suppliers in its best form, waiting until you have a finished product can prove to be costly. Your production supply chain is likely to give product feedback that will enhance overall quality and spark design change. Waiting until development is complete will send you right back to the drawing board should your production supply chain have feedback or suggested areas of improvement.

Not Incorporating Feedback

Get the prototype into the hands of users, then listen to their feedback and incorporate it into future iterations. Of course your expertise and research has made you a subject matter expert on your design, but user feedback gives you insight into your product that you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. These are the people who will be using your product, and their input is a valuable resource into how well your final product will be received come launch time.

Have Questions About Your Intellectual Property?

Product development is arduous and complex. BRADFORD, LTD is committed to protecting your ideas through every phase of development, from design to launch. Combining industry knowledge and legal expertise, BRADFORD, LTD is pleased to offer its services to the technology and healthcare communities. Contact us at 303.325.5467 today.

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Bradford LTD specializes in IP protections and maximization for startups and small businesses. We also provide scaled legal services to our clients, including fractional legal counsel and value-based rates. From trademark, copyright and service mark protections to patent protection and outside inside counsel, we help position entrepreneurs and owners for long-term success.

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