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How Rapid Prototyping Is Transforming Product Design

By: Jeremy Yanowitz

The increased availability and affordability of codeless prototyping technologies have made rapid prototyping a feasible option for teams and companies of all sizes.

In many industries, the development of new software solutions consists of three stages: conceptualization, design, and development. Beginning development without fully vetting, testing, and communicating the product vision during the design stage leads to costly redevelopment and/or products that don’t fully satisfy end users’ needs. Unsurprisingly, these projects tend to run over-schedule and over-budget.

Rapid prototyping offers a solution to this long-standing problem. It leverages codeless prototyping software to enable teams to quickly iterate, communicate, and test concepts and solutions in real time before any development begins. Rapid prototyping has been a tool in designers’ arsenals for well over a decade, but recent technological developments and shifting market forces have made the approach an increasingly accessible option for countless companies.

The Benefits of Rapid Prototyping

Used properly, rapid prototyping can enable teams to create high-quality products at a greatly accelerated pace. That said, the benefits of this approach go far beyond speed, impacting every phase of the product development process. Rapid prototyping allows designers — and other stakeholders — to test how a product will look and function almost as soon as it’s conceived, facilitating quick adjustments and, ultimately, better final products. The benefits of rapid prototyping include:

1. Improved concept realization

Rapid prototyping enables teams to see their ideas come to life in real time, and to improve upon them just as quickly, correcting defects and conceiving new workflows and features as soon as a prototype is in their hands. As a result, designers and other stakeholders can experiment with more complex ideas, testing as they go to ensure a product’s viability.

2. Cost, time, and effort savings

Before the emergence of rapid prototyping, it could take months to produce a prototype; now, it takes mere hours or even minutes. Due to these time and cost savings, it’s possible to create and test many more prototypes for a single product, empowering teams to deliver much stronger final products across the board.

3. Enhanced speed-to-market

Rapid prototyping facilitates dramatically accelerated speed-to-market, as it gives companies the power to design, test, and redesign products at an unprecedented pace early in the design process. This enables companies to save extensive development investment for when a solution has been fully vetted and communicated.

A Partner in Optimized Product Design

Rapid prototyping technologies have the potential to transform a product from viable to excellent — and to do the same to any company that takes advantage of these emerging technologies. But implementing new processes is never an easy task for organizations that are busy trying to keep up with their day-to-day operations.

That’s why many leading companies choose to partner with SEI, a business and technology consulting firm with experience helping clients in a variety of industries map out and implement a range of rapid prototyping techniques.

With support from our national organization, our seasoned local teams take a holistic approach to new engagements, working with client stakeholders to solve problems efficiently, sustainably, and collaboratively. No matter the project, our consultants ensure that solutions meet clients’ short-term needs and long-term goals.

Jeremy Yanowitz

Consultant

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