Choosing the right prototype
There are 3 factors that determine the kind of prototype to create:
- The purpose of the prototype
- The realism of the prototype
- The medium of the prototype
Purpose of the prototype
There are 3 main purposes for using prototypes, depending on how far along the project is:
1. Co-design prototypes
Prototypes that are created in a workshop or group setting using paper, sketching, role-play, cardboard, etc.
2. Concept prototypes
Prototypes that help explain and clarify the core idea at the heart of an opportunity, from low-fidelity (like a storyboard or sketches) through high fidelity (like a series of mock-ups or a video showing future use).
3. Production prototypes
Prototypes to explore how an idea will work in detail and informs implementation. Allows for extensive testing or possible use in a pilot project setting.
How will the prototype be made?
The medium matters in prototyping. Different materials, from paper to digital to plastic, will get different responses to your prototype.
Choose a prototyping method/medium such as:
- Paper (Sketch, Storyboard, Comic)
- Screen (PowerPoint, Comic Life, Axure, Excel, HTML, Floorplan software)
- Desktop Walkthrough (Business Origami, Lego / Playmobil)
- Physical Mock-up (Role-play and improv, Cardboard / Foam core, Poster / brochure / form)
- Telephony (VR, Call Centre – Faking interaction/automation (Wizard of Oz Concept)
- Concept Video / Storyboard Animation