To help designers prototype ideas that are challenging to represent with a single physical prototype.
30 min to 1 hr
Small groups 2-5
WHAT is prototype intangibles?
Determine what sort of prototype (experiential? physical? both?
) you need to develop for your design project and use the suggested methods (below in the "HOW") as a springboard for your own prototyping process. Here are some examples of intangibles you might want to prototype:
- A job interview
- A party with your best friends
- A better way of assigning homework
- A new way to work as a team
- A spirit week day
- A pregame event before a big sports game
- A new way to work with your sports team
WHY use Prototype Intangibles?
A lot of the time, we find ourselves needing to prototype not a physical product but an experience. Prototyping physical objects is intuitive, but sometimes prototyping intangible artifacts is a little murkier. The more experiential and the larger time scale you deal with, the trickier it becomes. Never fear! Don't feel like you're reinventing the wheel. Get inspired by our list of possible methods below.
HOW to use Prototype Intangibles?
So... how might you prototype the ideas listed above? Below is a list of methods you might employ (though certainly, it should not be viewed as an exhaustive list!) in your process.
- A job interview: Role Playing, Body Storming, storyboarding
- A party with your best friends: Role Playing, Body Storming, storyboarding
- A better way of assigning homework: Role-Playing, Crowdsourcing, Paper Prototyping, Storyboarding
- A new way to work as a team: Role-playing, Storyboarding
- A spirit week day: Role-Playing, Bodystorming, Storyboarding, Crowdsourcing
- A pregame event before a big sports game: Role-Playing, Crowdsourcing, Paper Prototyping, Storyboarding
- A new way to work with your sports team Role-playing, Storyboarding
Prototyping materialsSelect an Intangible to Prototype (5 min)
Using the list above or any other creative ideas that your teams have, ask each group to select an idea to prototype (this can also be used if you are in the middle of a challenge and you find that your students are struggling with how to prototype an intangible idea)Select Prototyping Strategies (5-10 min)
By the time student groups are working with this level of prototyping they should be introduced to most other strategies of prototyping. Ask students to think about their intangible idea and brainstorm which prototyping strategies will give them the best picture of the effectiveness of their idea. The list above gives some examples of different strategies that might work well for prototyping the given ideas.Prototype the Intangible (15-30 min)
Depending on the complexity of the ideas students are prototyping give them roughly 5-10 min per prototype strategy to build out their idea.Debrief of process (5 min)
Ask students to debrief how their process worked by answering some of the following questions:
How well do you think you represented your idea?
If you had it to do again are there any prototyping strategies that you would like to try?
Were there any strategies that you tried that did not work?
What is your next step?
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