In the ever-moving, ever-evolving and never stopping world, time is more valuable than ever. Failure for untested, not properly realised projects, advertising and products has become unacceptable. Businesses cannot waste valuable time and effort to create products that will not deliver results.
So what’s the answer?
Taking Influence From Manufacturing and Product Design
In manufacturing, rapid prototyping is the process of quickly creating a three-dimensional model of a product or part. This method originated in the 1970’s when American computer scientist Joseph Henry Condon and fellow colleagues at Bell Labs developed the Unix Circuit Design System to automate the laborious and error-prone task of converting drawings to fabricate circuit boards for the purposes of research and development.
Over time rapid prototyping has evolved, with product designers now using 3D printers to quickly visualise and test products before it is produced in larger quantities.
Rapid Prototyping for Digital Marketing
The concept of rapid prototyping has become embraced by many professions, including the world of digital marketing. Just as with manufacturing, us marketers can use this system of working to quickly move from rough paper sketches towards an interactive model that can be tested with the general public.
The adoption of rapid prototyping within marketing has largely been driven by clients needing to respond to continuously changing consumer needs and wants. Far too often traditional brands and legacy businesses are slow to react to developments in their industry and changes to their target market. Through rapid prototyping, businesses can experiment with multiple approaches and ideas, and be truly innovative in a cost effective manner.
The ProtoShop Way
We are huge advocates of rapid prototyping, using this agile approach to test digital products in a risk free environment and avoid costly mistakes. We have designed our own method of this process, which we call ProtoShop.
ProtoShop is a structured, time-based approach to solving a brand or industry challenge by developing a solution with technology. The method combines innovative ideas, prototyping and user testing – all in the span of one week.
Our model follows these 4 steps:
- EXPLORE: A workshop with the client to define the business challenge and the goal of the project.
- IDEATE: Brainstorm creative and technical solutions to solving the challenge and reaching our goal.
- PROTOTYPE: From our research, we choose the best idea and develop it through two intense days of prototyping.
- TEST: We test the product with focus group and individuals to validate/invalidate product ideas, uncover design flaws, understand users and ultimately build a product people want to use.
TUI approached us a few years ago looking for a way to bring the enjoyment back into planning holidays. We saw this as an opportunity for TUI to be creative and radical, and suggested to them that we used our rapid prototyping model to begin testing ideas for a Smart TV app.