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Prototyping/Anga Whakamua

Protoyping is an important part of the process as it starts to make our ideas real. Watch Jeremy Suisited to learn more.

What is Prototyping

A prototype is a way of showing our ideas in a tangible way very early on. Prototype as a word comes from the Greek prototypos which means “first impression”.

Anga Whakamua means to build the way forward – we continue to understand the value to the those we are serving and we create protoypes through iterative improvments. Anga Whakamua also includes the user testing part of the process (and prototyping doesn’t get done without user testing anyway).

During the prototyping phase we start to make our potential solutions real so that we can get feedback from the users close to the challenge.

It is important to note that initial prototypes of ideas are quickly built and are inexpensive. This is known as low fidelity prototyping where the purpose is to learn and not to sell ideas. As we gather feedback they slowly change and refine into higher fidelity prototypes OR the idea may stop being investigated completely as we find they may not achieve what we first thought.

Curedale (2016) page 445 lists the benefits of the Prototyping stage.

  1. Prototyping helps to detect and fix early problems
  2. They can be built fast, and cheaply
  3. Prototyping enables the user to build, observe, and learn quickly
  4. Prototyping enhances collaboration within a team and enables everyone to visualise the same idea
  5. Prototypes allow feedback from users quickly
  6. Prototypes are able to be iterated easily

These benefits help us to understand the “why” behind prototyping. A representation of our idea helps us to explain our prototype to people. It helps us to ask questions and develop solutions simultaneously. It helps us invite honest feedback from our stakeholders as they see something that is quick and fast rather than refined and finished.

The next activity will look at some types of prototypes and we can see what types of prototypes suit our ideas.

Curedale, R. (2016). Design thinking: process & methods (4th edition). Los Angeles, CA: Design Community College.


Watch the video of Jeremy explaining Prototyping and reflect on the following questions.

What are the main benefits of prototyping?
What do you think are the potential challenges?

Post a comment in the section below.

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