PrototypingTest and refine your vision into a Minimum Viable Product through iterative and early prototyping
What is prototyping?
Many young and aspiring entrepreneurs think of prototyping as a long and involved process that you complete when you move past the early stages of your idea. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Prototyping should be incorporated into the early, iterative stages from your Lean Canvas. It will be part of your very first MVP (Minimum Viable Product). And the earlier you start developing it and getting feedback on it, the stronger your startup will be later on.
But there are some misconceptions about what prototyping needs to be in order to be successful. Not every prototype will be a fully fledged, functional prototype. And that’s alright. At the early stages, it is more important that your prototype translates your idea into something a potential mentor, investor, or customer can easily understand and visualize.
There are multiple, easy, comprehensive, and low-tech options to accomplish this goal.
Prototyping for software, apps, and online platforms:
There are several effective ways of creating a prototype to serve as your ideas proof of concept. Here are some of our favorites:
Prototyping for physical products and solutions:
There are several effective ways of creating a prototype for a physical produce to serve as a proof of concept. Here are some of our favorites:
- Creating a detailed, paper mock-up of your product to demonstrate design and function
- Creating a 3D model of your product our of paper, cardboard, or by using a 3D printer
- Using a Kickstarter page as a proof of concept to understand user interest
Wizard of Oz prototypes:
Like the name suggests, Wizard of Oz prototypes are prototypes that look a lot more robust and functional than they actually are. They are one of our most highly recommended ways to put together a prototype that is effective at testing the UI of your idea, is free or extremely cheap to make, and requires no extensive coding or development skills.
Wizard of Oz prototypes are frequently created using the following: Google Slides, Power Point, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, or Canva.
The following is one of our favorite examples of a prototype made in Google Slides in a heavily condensed period of time. But, as you can see, it successfully demonstrates how to use the product and allows for visualization of the idea. The easier it is for someone to visualize and understand your solution, the better your feedback will be, and the faster you will grow.