User research is a vital step to innovate and improve your product. A prototype that showcases your digital product or service allows your team to explore solutions with key audiences.
Once a client experiences a usability session, they quickly understand the benefit of investing in spending time with the people who will use their products and services. You can bring your ideas to life without investing development resources and get meaningful feedback about your product from the people who matter most.
A prototype is a simplified version of an application that can be used to test out ideas and gather feedback from your key audiences in user research sessions. This feedback can then be used to improve the design and functionality of the final product.
Using a prototype early in the ideation process allows you to gather feedback from potential users on conceptual product ideas and discover new opportunities. By showing a prototype can help people better contextualize a new approach to a familiar service or to understand a unique service idea. This feedback allows your team to learn about the value of the product idea and how intuitive it is to your key audiences.
A prototype also allows you to get a sense of how people interact with your product to help guide your product improvement roadmap. By interacting with a working simulation of your system, you can understand how intuitive the navigation is, how easy it is to find information, and how well the different elements of the system work together. It’s not uncommon to hear about additional functionality or content that audiences would like to see you add to the product. With these inputs you can refine your solution before it is built, saving time and budget in the long run. You may even be able to add a few things to your product to better meet your customer’s needs.
A prototype can also help gather feedback and get buy-in from internal audiences and key stakeholders. A working example of a new feature or process improvement helps your colleagues give quality feedback without making assumptions about how the feature works. It can also help sell your idea to internal stakeholders. Not only can you show them how the feature will work, the user research findings demonstrate the value of investing in your project.
There are a number of ways that a prototype can be used to get insights with minimal development effort and maximum flexibility. By incorporating feedback from the people who will use your solution, you can ensure that the final product is intuitive, user-friendly, and meets the needs of your customers.
Let’s talk about how a prototype can help your team get feedback from your most important audiences quickly.
Curious to learn more about user research? Visit Crux Collaborative to learn more about our consulting services.