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Functional Product Prototyping

Creating prototypes that get your designs in the hands of your users at a quicker pace

What is Functional Product Prototyping?

During the development process, functional prototyping allows you to build working models that represent how your product design will look and be used. Functional prototyping is the process of creating a digital mock-up of your product, which allows you to test how it performs and responds before finalizing production. It’s often used as an early stage of product development to test the feasibility of a product, or it can also be used to test the market and how your product compares to competition.

At Highland, our team uses a wide variety of functional and rapid prototyping concepts, allowing you to quickly test, make iterations, and adjust product ideas and value propositions. Our in-house team also focuses on detailed components of the product like functionality, UX/UI design, brand messaging, and tone.

Why is Functional Product Prototyping Valuable?

Some of the key advantages of functional prototyping is that you can use a variety of types of prototypes to help you test the usability, functionality, and feasibility of your product before it is launched. By testing with real users, you can better understand their needs and expectations. This also allows you to validate assumptions about how people will use your product, including whether they'll be able to operate it easily or if there are any conflicts within key areas like navigation or layout. A functional prototype also gives you feedback about what features people want most from your product so that you can create specific versions based on those findings and launch them as soon as possible.

Validate Your Concepts

Functional prototyping is a way to test your ideas, assumptions, and even assumptions about your end users. It’s also a good way to test your competitors’ products and services.

  • Use prototyping tools to produce high-fidelity prototypes that serve as a foundation for the full-fledged new product

  • Create interactive prototypes that illustrate how an end-user interface or feature will work in the real world

  • Conduct usability testing to understand how users will use and interact with your finished product

  • Get early feedback from all stakeholders and validation on whether or not this particular approach makes sense for your company and users

Test Feasibility & Reduce Costs

A benefit of functional prototypes is that they are low cost and you can build them in a much shorter time frame than a full-fledged final product. This gives you the opportunity to observe and test how people use your product or service while they are still just ideas on paper.

  • Conduct functional testing that focuses on how the product works in real-time as opposed to what it looks like when viewed through an image editor or web browser

  • Use interactive prototypes to illustrate how an end-user interface or feature will work in the real world

  • Provide user-experience designers and developers with better insight product functionality and identify any problems they come across during testing phases - which means fewer bugs later down the road

  • Test the marketability of your idea before committing resources and time into building it out

How we do it

Highland has been building custom software for over twenty years. During that time, we’ve carefully refined how we help clients bring their vision to life.

Product managers and customer experience researchers work side-by-side with our technical team to ensure we’re building the right thing. We use rapid prototyping and ongoing testing to build-in learning and user feedback throughout the entire development process.

"We wouldn’t be achieving our business goals without Highland. Everyone on their team was very clear on what we set out to do. We worked with an incredibly high-caliber group."

- Jill Cole Mesaros, Director of Membership at Thrivent Financial

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