By Jason Vander Griendt

December 21, 2017 at 5:43 am

In this day and age, new products are hitting the shelves every single day. But, have you ever been sitting in your car, or on your couch and wondered “Hmm, how does that product get from design to the shelf”?

If you answered yes to that question, then this article is for you. Today we will be discussing some of the processes involved in getting your favorite products onto the shelf, and eventually, into your home.

A few examples of this process are:

  • A period of design
  • A prototyping period
  • A production period

We are going to be discussing the prototyping stage in this article. Prototyping is the first step in turning an idea into reality. And as with most creative professions, there is a process that is unilaterally followed beforehand.

During the journey to a developer’s success story, he/she must first go through some precautions to make sure that the product planned is going to be functional and that potential customers will easily be able to figure out what the product is meant to be used for. A prototype can also provide several beneficial pieces of information including, but not limited to:

  • Functionality testing
  • Material performance
  • A better product description
  • Increase in your product’s value and worth

When a prototype reaches the testing period the product designer/developers are looking for potential issues. Those issues range anywhere from design flaws to ease of use, and if you’re a product designer you probably know that those are two very important aspects of a successful product release. They say time is money, and this is especially true with bringing new products to market. Prototyping can save many hours of wasted time and money, and help you get your product to market before someone else thinks of, and possibly releases something similar themselves.

Being the first to successfully bring a product to market can have many benefits, such as:

  • Customers are more likely to choose you over a “me-too” competitor
  • Stronger brand loyalties; and
  • You’ll simply make more money!

But what does it actually mean to prototype a product?

Well, in layman’s terms, prototyping is the testing period where an initial short-run concept for a final product is created, to see if it is ready to go to the manufacturing stage and ready to be released to the general public without any bugs, defects, or design flaws. During that period of time, the product’s entire design and concept are being scrutinized for even the smallest of issues that could potentially cause issues in release and cost the developer a lot of time and money to fix, not to mention possible loss of credibility if the product goes to market too soon and is not fit for purpose.

I want you to imagine for a moment that you put your heart and soul into something, spending hundreds of hours of sleep deprivation, sweat and tears developing and molding your “baby” only to discover after the release that there are several harmful bugs that totally destroy user experience. Right there you just lost some serious feedback and possibly the public’s faith in you, and any future projects you may be pursuing. That right there is exactly what product prototype testing is for, and without it, there is sure to be more than just one problem with your release and sales.

In summary, if you are currently designing a product don’t forget to run it through appropriate testing and prototyping before its release. Creating a prototype is surprisingly cheap, making it practically a must-do for any intelligent product designer. Bringing your product to life can be a beautiful — and painless! — experience if you take just a few precautions like this that will make it run smoothly!

For more information on bringing your product idea to life, email JCAD’s CEO Jason at or call 1888.202.2052.

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Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is a Mechanical Engineering Technician with years of experience working at major companies such as SNC Lavalin Inc, Hatch Ltd. Siemens and Gerdau Ameristeel. He is the CEO of JCAD – Inc., a company he started in 2006 after seeing a gap in the market for businesses who could assist clients through the entire product design and manufacturing process.

Jason has been featured in Forbes, has had his businesses analyzed and discussed in multiple start-up books, was a previous winner of the Notable8 Digital Innovator of the year award, and is a regular guest on business panels and podcasts. Email Jason at or follow him on LinkedIn.

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