People want to feel the product, they want to play with it. It is much easier if you can have a close look at the product if you got it in your hand. Turn it around have a view from every angle you want. That’s what a prototype is made for. It does not need to be perfect. The only purpose is to transport the idea and the thoughts. Everything else is done in your brain. The test results will be much better than working with computer drafts. The people need to see it, feel it, and touch it. You as the creator you can see there direct response and expressions when getting the product. That’s exactly what you need.
There are many ways on how to build a prototype. Most common way is to build it out of paper, colours, glue, figures and carton. But can also use all other materials you want. Many of them using Lego or figures out of sweets packages. There is no limit to your imagination. But you should visualize the product in a simple way. Transport the message you need to test. Or maybe only on function of a product. After finishing the creative phase and idea generation phase you start to build your prototype in the way the teams thinks it fits best. The prototype will be built as part of the regular design challenge. If you have two or three different solutions available, build 3 prototypes and check which one fits best.
After you build the prototype it´s time to test it. Get out there and try to find random people to test your prototype. Do not explain much about how to use it. That’s also a very important factor about the test. Does it explain it self. Are there difficulties to understand the purpose and how to use it? After you give the tester a view minutes with the product you need to ask question to get the answers you need.
– How do you feel with the new product?
– Does it solve the problem
– Do you like the design and look
– Easy to handle it?
– Does it answer the design challenge?
Finishing this design cycle you need to review the test results.
– Which Prototype fits best
– Purpose has been transported
After your review session you need to decide the next steps. Do you need to update the prototype or build a new one and start the test run again.
Another great fact about building prototypes is the point of having a great time and enjoy some fun when building the prototype in the team. Enjoy building a prototype like in your childhood.