That time you built a spreadsheet for collecting data from your team and adjusted it based on their feedback? That was prototyping. When you ran your big presentation with a couple colleagues and swapped out a few slides because someone said it didn’t quite flow? Also prototyping.
At its simplest, we'd argue that prototyping is the intentional testing of ideas. The key is to do it quickly and thoughtfully. Need a little help figuring out where to begin? Here are four resources to get you started.
1. When you're at the very, very beginning
Kicking things off can be the hardest part. If you’re still trying to figure out exactly how prototyping will fit into your or your team’s creative process, try pulling some ideas from this story of one IDEO team’s experiment with early-stage prototyping.
2. When your next project isn’t designing a thing, but designing a service
Many of our everyday transactions—everything from paying for coffee to selecting airline tickets—are highly designed processes. But where do you start when your project is creating a service, not an object? Dive in with these tips.
3. When the constraints of your project feel like they’re testing you
Been there. If (and when) you’re feeling stuck, lean on the how might we questions in this piece about leveraging design constraints to get you moving.
4. When you need an example
Itching to see prototyping in action? Follow one of IDEO’s designers as he experiments with 360˚ video.
Jane is an interaction designer with a notorious reputation for drowning her house plants in love. If she’s not whispering sweet nothings to her variegated rubber plant, she’s finding some other crafting hobby to obsess over, then discard shortly after.