Pointers for Sharing your Prototype
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Over the years we’ve seen hundreds of outstanding design and technology creators share engaging behind-the-scenes documentation of their projects. Providing backers with a clear sense of where their project stands, and what a first hand experience with a new technology looks like, is what distinguishes them from other campaigns.
Backers on Kickstarter are more than just consumers, they’re your collaborators, and sharing openly about your project can enable you to build strong relationships with the most passionate and demanding members of your community.
Our Design and Technology team has distilled a list of best practices to help you start documenting your next design or technology project. These aren’t just core to our guidelines, they’re also the winning strategy of any great campaign.
Make the most of your demo videos.
- Your demo video needs to cover the baseline functionality of your product as outlined in your project description. For example, the creators of MIDIS dedicated a portion of their project video to demoing their product.
- If your product involves hardware and software, document the interaction in a way that’s seamless. Single, unedited shots work best, like this one from the Fleye project:
- Not every feature needs to be polished and complete, but the most challenging and fundamental technologies should be demonstrated. The gif below demonstrates how easy it is to inflate the Sipaboard.
- Make sure that your demo clearly communicates and shows how backers can expect to use your product in their daily lives. For example, if you’re making a bike accessory, like the Beeline, show it in action on the road.
- Computer-Generated imagery (CGI) is an exciting tool to use in certain practices such as animation, but should never be used in a campaign page to demonstrate a product's functionality.
Showcase your project.
- Include straightforward photos that highlight how your product works. The creators of OpenBCI literally showed backers what was "under the hood" of their headset.
- Make a point to show backers how they can use your product in their daily lives. Demonstrate what purpose it will serve and what needs it will fill. Doesn’t the picture below help you visualize a Floating Record in your own living room?
- If you have a range of prototypes, clearly describe each one’s functionality. The HiddenHUB team dedicated a section of their page to sharing a few of their prototypes and a demo of their latest model.
- We don’t allow renderings that include realistic lighting, shading, or texturing — basically anything that could confuse backers about the current state of the project. If you do need to use a rendering to share more details about the workings of your project, use a transparency, wireframe, or exploded view (it's okay for exploded views to be photorealistic), and in combination with more transparent documentation.
To dive deeper on the importance of prototyping, or which prototypes to make before you launch, here are some of our favorite blogs and resources on the subject:
- Dragon Innovation on the importance of building prototypes.
- The Bressler Group shares a post that summarizes six types of prototypes you should consider making.
- The creators of Blubel, a smart bicycle bell, share what they've learned about prototyping and building products.
- Our Resources page lists a few companies that can help with developing prototypes and sourcing materials.
And if you have questions about prototyping or production before you launch your campaign, fill out our Planning for Production survey, and our Design and Technology team will send you some tailored tips and guidance.