The simple notion of prototyping: to test, to collect feedbacks and…to improve through these feedbacks!
No judgements, no damn to aesthetics, no fear to failure, just do it! Likewise the classical Nike slogan, attitude is what matters. It´s not about make a perfect and wonderful prototype, it’s simply check if the idea works. That’s all! Prototypes are meant to make ideas tangible, learn by doing and get direct feedbacks from the people we’re targeting. It’s helpful to save time and focus on testing the relevant aspects for our challenge to solve.
Prototype is a process, it’s nothing linear and predictable. It starts small, just a tool to get information – the feedback! Why? It’s all about find solution for a problem we have to solve.
We start with an idea, or with a problem in mind, or a challenge. Then, we take action towards solution. Does the idea work? Well, just get into the field and test with who would be served by our idea. Otherwise, how would we know if our idea is really useful as we thought in the beginning.
Remember that if our idea proposes to solve a problem of someone else (a client/boss/sponsor), our personal opinion has to be taken out as unimportant. That’s the hardest part ever, the moment to detach from our so loved proposals, to act like a darling killer literally.
To make our lives easier, we need to have in mind when prototyping the following questions:
- What’s the concept of the idea?
- How did we prototype your idea?
- How did we test it?
- What’s the feedback?
- What would be the next steps?
As well described by IDEO’s Human Centered Design Toolkit, there are so many ways to prototype an idea. As the ideas we get may have lots of testable components, we need to be clear about what we need to learn and which components will give us the necessary answers.
And how to make it happen? We can use role playing, mock-ups, storyboards, drawing, collages, etc. The important is to make our ideas tangible and test their practicability. Following the toolkit’s suggestions, we can take these steps to prototype:
- Write down the key elements of our idea. What needs to be tested?
- What are the questions we need to answer with prototypes?
- What kind of prototypes make sense to the questions we need to answer?
Test ideas and get feedbacks fast! Do you have an awesome prototype story to tell? Why not share it?