Better design with rapid prototyping
I attended the rapid prototyping workshop run by Nirish Shakya at the General Assembly offices in London.
Focusing on User Centred Design, we tackled the concept of how to include this area of sketching/brain storming within the length of a sprint or deadline for a project. Prototyping is one of the most important aspects of design and in particular the UX process before committing to a visual outcome. However, I’ve often found it’s a step that many companies want to avoid due to deadlines and time commitments; it’s seen as being ‘too long’ or ‘a waste of time’. This is despite the fact that this process often makes the overall product better and reduces the risk of errors and in the long term will likely save the company money and time.
Starting with the 3 basic questions:
- Who is your user and what is their problem?
- How will we solve the user’s problem?
- Does our solution solve the user’s problem?
With this thinking in mind, we can quickly pour ideas out onto paper and evaluate if these solutions really work for our users. I find it’s best to include the stakeholders (product managers, developers, etc) in this process to ensure that everyone has the user at the heart of their approach and there is understanding and agreement on the solutions.
Drawing up ideas onto paper we can create, pitch them to our fellow team members and provide feedback, if we take only a few minutes for each step it allows us to fail quickly and without cost; we can almost instantly see problems and shortcomings in our solutions as we run through them as a team.
“90% of everything is crap”
– Theodore Sturgeon, science fiction author and critic
Workshop — DESIGN CHALLENGE
A product to help elderly people connect with university students who
would like to live rent-free with them in return for companionship.
68 year old Janice who loves riding her bicycle and eating
Janice wants to find a university student to live with her, someone who
is friendly, clean and with whom she would enjoy spending time with.
After a few rounds of brainstorming, we pitched our ideas and evaluated their usefulness in solving the user problem, how innovative these solutions were and how successful we think the concepts would be.
With a little discussion and feedback you now have a concept you can digitise (I use Axure or Invision for web and Marvel or Pop for mobile concepts) and start some lean testing with users!
And finally remember, good design is…
This post originally appeared on my blog