Case Study: Rapid Prototyping & Participatory Design

Project 1, Week 1, UXDI General Assembly, London

The Problem:

Oliver has just got married, but he also joined a 10 week intensive course. The challenge was, how can he get home on time everyday so he can be sure to spend time with his wife?

The Approach:

To start understanding better Oliver’s thoughts, motivations and behaviours, I’ve conducted a few 1:1 interviews.

Oliver telling me his dislikes

“I like to follow tasks and get incentives when I reach targets. When I don’t have that, I get a bit lost with my time”

A constant theme mentioned on the interviews was time and his use of time. That became more clear when we draw a Concept Map and I was able to go a bit further into his thoughts.

An idea came about: if there was any way of an app that could capture his daily targets of getting home on time and once that week has finished (if the target was met), he could win a reward that he would’ve pre-selected previously, that would be something Oliver would be interested to use.

Having that idea in mind, the way forward was to create a light-hearted, fun and easy to use app. Oliver would be able to compete with his wife on a daily basis and have the chance to win weekly prizes with the downfall that if he did not win, the prize would go to his wife!

Sketching & Prototyping:

To consolidate the idea I started doing some sketches and showing that to Oliver:

I got some great feedback from the sketches, some of that was that I should include a verification stage — to avoid any cheating! — and also to include a scoreboard on the first screens you see!

To make those ideas more real, I started doing some low fidelity prototyping and testing with Oliver and other users.

This led to a more polished version of the idea, where you get notifications when it goes to verify with your partner and it would include scoreboards on two initial screens:


Finalising the prototype, it was clear that this app could work, not only with Oliver but also with other users that would want to participate in a challenge. It was also noted that this was quite a simplified version and that there was a potential to create more complex features. Some next questions for this project would be:

  • Create a final prototype and test with users. Are there any more features that should be added? Any buttons that would need to be there? Any other screen recommendations?
  • Expand on the idea to have multiple challenges at a time — What to include? What would change on the screens?
  • Explore the idea of being able to participate in a challenge with multiple users — What would change on the structure of the game? Would it be feasible to set up multiple wishlists? How would the verifications process work?