In the modern world of consumers, yes, this includes YOU; we are all impatient - gone are the days when we were happy to wait 2-3 weeks for our favourite indulgence to arrive. We live in a world of high demand that starts from availability, and the experience must be unrivalled and beyond expectations.
For example, when did you last leave a positive review for a service or an application you used to check your bank balance or order your favourite product? I would be surprised if you knew off-hand.
Alternatively, when did you last air your grievances about a sub-par experience? Maybe you couldn’t find the right button, or the overall experience felt frustratingly slow and clunky…
This is the high-demand reality we are operating in at present.
At V2 Digital, we understand the importance of cohesive and aligned design with all development work we carry out; the need to understand customer behaviour and deliver new and personalised experiences is critical to successful offerings for our clients.
In our design process, we like to engage the target audience from the outset and incorporate the end user at the centre of all our engagements. We believe in rapid prototyping and embedded designers within our Delivery Teams.
What is rapid prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is an invaluable approach for swiftly assessing concepts and ideas. Whether the driving force behind the evolution of a client’s offering is a research-driven trend or customer feedback, this approach can help to quickly determine whether pursuing this concept is worth the investment. This method allows you to explore possible solutions rapidly and decide which option makes the most sense.
Avoid the mistake before the delivery has commenced.
Types of Prototypes
When designers are engaged from the outset and have a clear vision aligned with the client, they can move quickly through the design process, creating visuals, develop copy, and possible scenario interactions to create a medium or high-fidelity prototype.
A high-fidelity prototype aims to emulate the future or target state in an “as near” look and feel to the proposed finished product. This allows customers to engage and interact with the prototype more accurately, obtain insight and gather honest feedback.
This type of detail is critical for testing at later stages when designers seek honest customer feedback. Moreover, stakeholders can see how the final product will function before its release. High-fidelity prototypes provide an opportunity for uncovering any misalignment issues that may present themselves before development begins.
This is what V2 sees as the minimum starting point of any engagement. An uncomplicated way to begin prototyping is by utilising a marker and texter with paper to produce what is referred to as a paper prototype. Which typically has a scarcity of interactivity, visuals, and content but provides a starting point to help inform strategic decisions.
Low-fidelity prototyping is an effortless and effective method for taking highly developed design concepts with V2 design muscle memory and transforming them for testing. Its objective is to validate any underlying principles and raise the perceived value we aim to deliver while aligning the solution to the client's strategy, instead of concentrating on aesthetics.
These prototypes are superb for brainstorming ideas and eliminating multiple answers initially in a design procedure. Paper wireframes can assist in selecting layout functions best for a screen, user flow, or displaying information most effectively to users.
Benefits of Prototyping
There are three critical benefits to Rapid Design prototyping. These are fundamental to preventing mistakes and validating the choices that have been made.
Flexible exploration of new concepts and ideas
Minimised development cost on releases and iterations
Increased likelihood of success by de-risking releases into the market
Suppose the above is followed, and the benefits are realised. In that case, this enables your business to capitalise on rapid speed to market with a product or offering your customer seeks, giving you a competitive edge.
"If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design."
- Dr Ralf Speth
Research has found that fixing an issue after release can be four to five times more expensive than during product design. In that respect, prototyping and testing a solution with users is much less costly than developing a complete product and unthinkingly releasing it to the world. That’s not counting the potential brand damage if the failure is public.
Embedded Designers in Delivery Teams
Designers build a deep understanding of their customers by considering the customer experience across the whole product and programme they are involved in. Not just the part covered by their development stream. This collaborator mindset allows them to work closely with the Senior Product Manager and customer to develop the future roadmap.
By building an embedded design system within a delivery team, we can focus on creating a consistent experience. Adopting this method also empowers our embedded designers, enabling them to work faster. Safe in the knowledge that their design work fits within the product as a whole.
Embedding designers in your development teams facilitates a short feedback loop throughout the entire development lifecycle, from ideation to deployment. With rapid prototyping enabling a consistent medium for feedback, communication, collaboration and iteration as the project evolves.
Cohesive design in development requires designers to be a part of the cross-functional delivery team. This is critical to successful delivery, and using a method such as rapid prototyping is an effective process for building a great product or offer. However, this is only one of many tools our designers utilise at V2.
So next time you need help with an idea or how to validate a design concept, try building a prototype and testing it with users. It's guaranteed to reveal at least a few actionable insights!
At V2, we are consciously evolving, be it our approaches to customer-focused design or identifying new trends or tools; we know it is essential to be ahead of the curve. For more information on product design, check out the ‘Continuous Product Design: Benefits, How to Adopt and Real-World Examples’ blog. For any design and development needs, please feel free to reach out to me.