Using rapid iteration to develop a user-validated product
NDP LABS | Delivering the product
Once a product concept has been turned into a basic demonstration, the next step is to turn it into a product. Taking it to market fast and having certainty that the final product will meet user requirements is essential. By the end of this phase, the product will do just that.
We prototype your concept using rapid iteration combined with continual user testing to solve technical problems and test your technology options. By targeting the high risk and low knowledge elements of your project first, we make the later stages of the product development simpler, faster and less costly.
PROTOTYPE | ITERATE | DELIVER
PROTOTYPE – Product Creation
Once a concept has been amplified, refined, tested with users and demonstrated to stakeholders, the real work begins. Prototyping is normally conducted in workflows around several core themes in parallel:
1. Form Factor : Refining the early prototype to look and feel like the final product
2. Functional : Developing electronics, sensors and connectivity that allow the product to work fully
3. Software : Both internal to the wearable (firmware), in a mobile device (app) and in the cloud (storage, analytics and web interfaces).
ITERATE – With users
Iteration is a key element in how we work. Multiple devices are created, (both physical and digital), to test specific requirements, assumptions, form and function with users. Although this may seem counterintuitive, iteration is essential for gaining sufficient insight and delivering a validated, robust and reliable product. It is almost always essential to iterate a design, as projecting forward past many overlapping assumptions and unknowns is often impossible. As experienced Product Developers, we work in a series of rapid and testable increments.
We arrange formal User Testing to test and validate product prototypes in a structured away, allowing maximum knowledge gain. This may include batch testing 5 users with a digital rendering, or shipping 20 users works like products. There are many tools available to fit budgets, timescales and in relation to the essential requirements of the project.
DELIVER – Product for manufacturing
The end point of the Product Development work is to have finalised all functional and form factor specifications of the physical product. We refer to this as a ‘Design Freeze’ (for good reason!). Although not signed off at this stage, the software will be very well advanced and all major features will be understood.
It is likely that the final stage in Product Development will be to test the full device eco-system with a sizeable user base and ensure there are no design changes required. Soft tooling is used to make parts here, which gives a very close approximation to the final units.
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