Bridging design prototypes
The bridging design prototype (BDP) approach aims to strengthen the activity of design in new product development undertaken by small enterprises. Design is the weak link in the fuzzy front-end process of new product development in small and medium-sized enterprises. A BDP is a rapid functional prototype built with features familiar to a user community and with novel features that a designer incorporates after careful analysis of relevant data. The BDP principles were used to organise and make sense of findings to inform feature requirements. Phase one of the project involved an evaluation of the ‘RoBi-Design’ process to understand how the BDP principles could be used to decrease fuzziness at the front end of innovation. The BDP development had to have great emphasis in systems thinking, largely because of the product’s technical nature in terms of form and usage. The product was to be sold B2B with two distinct customers and users.