Prototyping Bootcamp

“Developing a prototype early is the number one goal for our designers.
We don't trust it until we can see it and feel it.”
Designer, Sculptor, Ceramicist Win Ng
Tool Step

Role of this tool

This tool is a practical workshop that facilitates the rapid prototyping of new products, services or processes in a collaborative environment. Prototyping is a crucial phase of innovation that helps to transform mere ideas into valuable new assets. It does this by making or simulating new products or services and then testing and iterating them. Prototyping is best done collaboratively as we will need a mix of technical, design and commercial skills.

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How do we use it?

This tool is for planning a workshop to move ideas to thought-through new products or services. We run a Prototyping Bootcamp using ideas we have already prepared and codified.

The key outputs from a Prototyping Bootcamp are successful prototypes that are ready for technical development and significant investment. There will also be some ideas that didn’t prove as strong as we thought that we leave to one side or re-think.

1. What idea(s) are we prototyping?

Write a brief description or title of our idea or ideas. If we already have a ‘catchy title’ (using Idea Frame) record it here. We sketch out the ideas as a first step to prototyping, using any already prepared with Sketch Templates or Storyboard Template.

2. How are we going to prototype our ideas?

We review Prototyping Techniques and select the appropriate tools for the job. Write a checklist of required materials, people and book a Bootcamp space that is big enough with owners who don’t mind mess, noise and things being stuck on the walls. It is exciting and productive to invite technical or craft specialists to a Prototyping Bootcamp.

3. What is our agenda?

A typical Prototyping Bootcamp agenda
0900: Welcome, present Prototyping Techniques and share the ideas to be prototyped
0930: Service Safari – delegates go out to note and diagnose services they encounter e.g. planning a bet. What could be improved?
1030: Blueprint – Use Blueprint to decide exactly what to prototype
1130: 1st prototyping session. People self-organise into teams around ideas they like and choose one or two prototyping techniques to use.
1230: A well-earned lunch
1330: Testing the prototypes. Teams go out, find users and test the prototypes noting what works and what doesn’t
1500: 2nd prototyping session to iterate. Teams adapt their prototypes to reflect their findings from the user testing
1600: Testing the prototypes again. Fill in Prototype Evaluator
1700: Present back to the group with Q&A
1730: Agree next steps and close

4. How will we measure the success of our prototypes?

Write down the metrics that we agree are the most important here (see Prototype Evaluator).

How will we test our prototypes? The ideal is to try them out with real users during the Prototyping Bootcamp so we can quickly learn and iterate. Finally, we record what we are aiming to do after the Prototyping Bootcamp (e.g. further prototyping, technology development or consumer testing or research)

Source: Nonon

For additional background take a look at other resources at Protosketch and IDEO cards.


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Worked Example

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