A solution nobody would think of. What is behind the Dark Horse Prototype. A solution no one will think of as a possible way to solve the design challenge.

Let’s have a closer look at our dark horse

Creating a prototype is part of every Design Thinking process and many Innovation processes. After the ideation and idea developing phase it is time to define and build your first prototype to initiate the test and customer interview phase. You want to show the current idea and solution to a group of users to gain a deeper knowledge and thinking. During the interviews you want to check if your solution will work in the production environment. So lets speak a bit about prototyping and how to build it

What is a prototype

Most important the prototype is not a finalized solution. The functionality and idea need to be visualized to a group of tester and user. Transport your thinking and what you want to achieve. A typical prototype is build out of paper, pen and glue. Can be drawn or handcrafted. There are several types of prototypes. Following a different concept and thinking.

A Dark Horse

The dark horse is a metaphor out of the horse racing business. Describing a horse know one about.  The performance and power of it. In the end it will surprise everyone end win the race. And you can receive the highest rewards for you bets.



So what does it mean for us as the Design Thinking team. The dark horse prototype will be the secret super prototype. The most creative but also difficult to build solution. Very pricy, risky and difficult to realise. If all these factors are not important what would the solution be. Develop a prototype of an amazing product even if it would not be possible to build with current technology and knowledge.

The Process

In the process we want to create the most provocation and disruptive idea possible. The most interesting idea will be picked and the prototype build. Again it is not important to build a well-developed solution. The idea or function needs to be transported and tested. Build with available materials.


The main purpose is not to build a crazy product. It is more about getting the team thinking up to speed. Release creativity and potential ideas. sometimes it is important to think the unthinkable to generate great solutions. The whole power of the teams creativity can be released. Even if the dark horse prototype can not be realised and build it will help you to create a great final solution in the teams design challenge.

Get one step closer on your way to solve the design challenge





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