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Stage – ID3: Develop the Opportunity

Following on from design are those activities that ensure a product is fit for purpose over time, that it is reliable, of consistent quality and performance, and cost effective. Development therefore includes further market analysis, proof of concept, prototyping and design for manufacture - which is where businesses with specialised equipment and skills come in.

Select a task name below for more information

Task Overview

It’s important to have a clear plan for the development of your prototype. Here are a few key considerations.

What you need to do:

  • Consider the type of prototype you require. For example a "Works Like" prototype will demonstrate the functional aspects of the design but may not represent the visually aspects of the design. A "Looks Like" prototype will be representative of the visual form but may not have any functionality. You may decide to start with a "Works Like" prototype to prove the technical principles before considering a "Looks Like" prototype
  •  Select an appropriate company with experience of the type of prototype you require. Several companies may be required, especially if the device has a mixture of mechanical and electrical components
  •  Test your prototype with users, make sure you have a representative sample of users that can give critical feedback (not just positive feedback from people close to the design)
  • Make any changes, such as alterations to key features, as soon as possible
  • Consider branding issues, such as what to call the product and how this identity translates into the language of target markets. Take early advice on registering trademarks featuring names and logos
  • Work with healthcare partners to test the prototype and answer these questions:
    - Does the product match the specification?
    - Does it work in reality?
    - Are the ergonomics correct, can users operate the prototype?
    - Does it provide the correct advice to prevent misuse?
  • Consider using computer simulations to provide a quick assessment of whether design requirements will be met
  • Will your product need to be cleaned and re-sterilised? If so, you need to consider possible dismantling and re-assembly
  • You should also use the testing process to gain insight about the likely training needs for users