Schedule Time & Gather Materials
- Time Needed: 5 Minutes – 6 Hours (depending on fidelity)
- A pen & a piece of paper OR
- Design software, paper, and a printer OR
- Tagboard, markers, glue, and pens OR
- Prototyping software of choice
Carry Out This Method
- Collect information about user needs from stakeholders, test users, and/or market research.
- Identify a function, feature, or task flow that you want to prototype.
- Design the experience and create a testable prototype. This could be anything from a sketch on a napkin to an interactive high-fidelity experience, but low-fidelity prototypes are preferred because they are easier to create and modify for refining ideas.
- Show your prototype to “test users,” whether they are strangers in a mall or your friends and family.
- Based on their feedback, modify your prototype to address usability issues that have surfaced.
- Test this new version of your design and continue iterations. As your design’s issues are resolved, move up to higher fidelity prototyping techniques, getting your design closer to a near-finished form.
Try These Tips
Only build as much of a prototype as you need in order to test what you need to test. Do not be a perfectionist. The idea is multiple iterations done fast and cheap.
Explore More Resources
- Usability Body of Knowledge: Rapid Prototyping
- Design Kit: Rapid Prototyping
- Methods: Prototyping
- Smashing Magazine: Design Better And Faster With Rapid Prototyping
- Usability Geek: Effective Techniques For Rapid Prototyping
- Derrick Bowen: Rapid Prototyping and Usability Testing
- Interaction Design Foundation: Rapid Prototyping, Faking It Until You Make it in a UX Driven World