In college, we used to do pre-test before the final exam.
The pre-test was usually done during TA office hours, and was a chance to see a 'typical' final from previous classes.
Some people showed up for pre-test day. Some people thought they didn't need the practice. I took the pre-tests seriously.
The test was not supervised like a final exam. We could cheat our way through it.
But that wasn't the point.
The pre-test was only going to be beneficial to the person taking it. My professor wouldn't care if I passed it. All he cared about was the final exam grade.
But what does this have to do with Design?
In product development, our devices have many tests that they have to pass. These range from shock/impact testing to ingress/waterproofing, or materials biocompatibility.
To get a stamp of approval from the governing bodies (FDA, UL, CE, etc) we have to pass a Certified Test.
A certified test is like a final exam. They're highly controlled tests, run in highly controlled environments.
These test require approved test protocols and test method validation. Medical test results are under tight scrutiny by the FDA.
These tests are (generally speaking) expensive.
How can we avoid paying for a test and getting results that don't support our hypothesis? We pre-test them.
Get as many uncertified tests in so that there are no surprises when the final test is run. Ask for help on your 'uncontrolled' test, so that the conditions closely approximate the certified test method.
When you get to the final certified test, it should be low-stress. Your design should pass with flying colors. The test is just a formality to get the certification.
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