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How prototyping will help test your market fit

Having a great idea is one thing – but whether or not it’s valuable for your users is another.

Checking the viability of your product to ensure it solves user problems or adds to their experience is critical, if you want to create something truly memorable in your sector. That’s where prototyping can help you.

Think of it a bit like a “draft” version of your end product. 

Something that allows you to test your user assumptions, and create measurable hypotheses that can be validated and tested with your stakeholders and audience.

Here’s a quick overview of why we think prototyping is so important to your next digital project.

Market validation

Market validation is made up of Proof of Concept (POC), prototype development and a minimum viable product. 

If your idea has only been validated through your internal and external network of people you know, you should turn your attention to your real-world audience, and factor them and their needs into the entire product development process.

So – defining your exact market is extremely important; we’d always recommend building consumer profiles or user personas through user research to give your funded startup a steer on the behaviour of potential users.

Proof of Concept (POC)

Now you know whether there’s a real appetite for your product in the market, it’s time to assess if building it is possible. You’ll need to test the feasibility of your product in the POC stage, through a series of design sprints.

There may be several POCs carried out to test the viability of multiple aspects of your product. For example, while one POC focusses on a specific feature which has a complex build, another might consider verifying whether two separate systems are talking to each other correctly. 

Basically, the POC covers whether something can be achieved – if this is the case, development can move forwards.

Prototype development

At the prototype stage, we create low fidelity and high fidelity prototypes to test products and features to see how prototyping will help test your market fit.

App prototypes can help you understand the impact your product will have on the market and gather important early feedback. With our prototypes for funded startups for example, we include guidance on user flows, planned features, product specs and wireframes.

Prototyping is a low-cost, quick-to-market way of gaining insights into how future iterations will look, and can help shape your product strategy and roadmap.

To achieve this at 6B, we work with a variety of rapid prototyping tools including Sketch, Balsamiq and many more. A quick overview of the different types of prototypes we design would include:

  • Figma prototypes – This quick working prototype visualises your user journeys, as well as information architecture
  • Principle & Origami prototypes – These are used to mock interactions, transitions and animations, adding depth and experience to a UI design
  • Progressive tech prototypes – These prototypes test AI, voice apps and other emerging technology
  • In-browser prototypes – These clickable prototypes are effectively how your product will look and feel, but with reduced functionality, showing you almost exactly what to expect when the product goes live

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The minimum version of the final product focuses on the core requirements of the product or features of early users. This MVP is a working piece of software that allows you to test viability in a short space of time.

At 6B, we would iterate your product at this stage based on user feedback, ensuring that the product delivers on not only the look and feel, but the user experience such as the accessibility or the ease of navigation.

Our UI/UX designer, developers and product owners will carry out testing of the MVP, including workshops that gather as much information as possible on the product and your target audience. 

Does your product fit the market?

To increase your chances of success, we always recommend including prototypes and MVPs within your product roadmap – which is why it forms a natural part of our 6B’s of Service.

Prototypes and MVPs reduce risks and costs, maximising the possibility of your product fitting the market and delivering a previously unfulfilled need for your customers or product users.

As your new technical partner, we’ll support you in producing a unique product that will delight your users and fit a gap in the market.

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