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The Do's and Don'ts of Rapid Prototyping

Rapid Prototyping is a major trend in design that I have touched on many times before, owing to its vital role in streamlining and improving the design process. Having already established the details and aspects of Rapid Prototyping, this time I will offer a streamlined guide to how to make the most of this process. Whether it is Modern Design Furniture or an art piece, the following advice is well worth considering.
…Work collaboratively with all stakeholders involved in what is being rapidly prototyped, including users and / or viewers, employees, creative partners. Not only do they offer valuable feedback that you can utilize, but they gain a sense of ownership of the final product, which is great for moral and mass appeal.
…Remind everyone – yourself include – that rapid prototyping is a means to an end, not an end in itself. All too often, designers find themselves dealing with “prototype creep” by setting high or unrealistic expectations for the process. This can muck up the process or even ruin the final result. This is a work in progress, not a working solution.
…Emphasize reuse, especially in computer-based prototyping. Instead of discarding old templates, stencils, widgets, and other inputs, save them for future projects. A lot of great design work emerges from where you least expect it.
…Begin prototype review sessions with clear guidelines for feedback. Be very specific about the type of feedback you are looking for, or else you and / or your team will get bogged down in tangents or unimportant details.
Do Not…
…Prototype features or functionalities that cannot be implemented. This is a common problem with designers utilizes software or computer systems whose capabilities and limits they may be unaware of – always confirm with developers before starting.
Implement every new suggestion or change. Feedback is important of course, but rapid prototyping is intended to capture missing requirements following careful evaluation. Do not rush to approve every suggestion, no matter how promising, without analyzing it.
…Be a perfectionist. Again, this is a process, not a working solution. In the majority of instances, rapid prototyping does not need to be 100 percent ideal – it just has to be good enough to give stakeholders a common understanding of the vision and goals.
…Prototype everything. While a highly versatile and effective design approach, rapid prototyping is not for everything. Weigh the pros and cons of it on a case by case basis.
I hope you have found these suggestions helpful. Methods like these are what inform the many world-renowned designers and brands I proudly offer at CA Modern Home. For more information, please contact 800.605.1859 or sales@camodernhome.com. Also feel free to visit my showroom at CA Modern Home at 1560 Lenox Ave. Suite 101 Miami Beach, Florida 33139. You get free shipping on most items $50 or more!
Jesse Brody
Jesse Brody

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