To help designers decide between multiple options for a given component of an idea quickly
10 - 40 min
Small groups 2-5
WHAT is it?
Making and evaluating a prototype can be the best way to inform design decisions. If an idea has been prototyped and passes muster with the group, it’s a good sign that the idea is worth pursuing further.
WHY use it?
Often during the design process, it’s unclear how to proceed forward, particularly when a team reaches a fork in its decision tree. A prototype can frequently resolve team disagreements and help a team decide which design direction to pursue without having to compromise. The best way to resolve team conflicts about design elements is to prototype and evaluate them with users.
HOW do we teach it?
Staying as low-resolution as possible, develop models of potential design candidates. Be sure to distill the design problem down to discrete elements so you can isolate and be mindful of the variable you are testing.
Sample Lesson (30 min)Materials:
Results from ideate stage, insights and user needs, Prototyping materials
Identify disagreement with in the team (5 min)
This is best done with already established project teams that are working on a challenge together. Ask each team to identify something that they have differing ideas about what would work better or what the user group wants. This can be anything from color of the final product to functionality of an aspect of the prototype to differing opinions about what the user group feels is more important (ie pink rather than green, a latch or velcro, or whether the user group prefers the final product to be simple or complex)Build a prototype of each of the opposing ideas (15 min)
As a team each group builds both prototypes so that they are ready to present to a user group or test group. (ie. one pink and one green prototype or one latch and one velcro, or one simple and one complex)Present prototypes to test/user group (5 min)
Teams present each of their prototypes to their user/test group and get feedback on which they prefer and why.Wrap up and Discussion (5 min)
Teams now debrief the process by answering the following questions:
Which prototype did your user group like better and why?
What did you learn about yourself during this exercise?
What did you learn about your team?
How will you use this strategy going forward as a designer?
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