Design is a constantly evolving process for solving problems creatively. It aids to bring together solutions that are human-centered, viable and feasible. Design thinking enables this problem-solving in five phases, which are; Empathy, Define, Ideation, Prototyping, and Testing.
Prototyping is the fourth phase of design thinking.
What is Prototyping?
A prototype is someone or something that serves as a model or inspiration for those that come later.
Prototyping is an experimental process where design teams implement ideas into tangible forms from paper to digital. Teams build prototypes of varying degrees of fidelity to capture design concepts and test on users. With prototypes, you can refine and validate your designs so your brand can release the right products.
Prototyping allows designers to test the practicability of the current design and potentially investigate how trial users think and feel about the product. A prototype is an early sample of a design that allows users to visualize or interact with it before a final product is developed.
Some of the benefits of prototyping but not limited to these include:
1) Exploring new ideas.
2) It aids to find solutions to problems already discussed by design teams during Conception and Ideation.
3) Evaluate Technical Feasibility.
4) Effectively Present Idea to Customers.
5) Iterate at Lower Costs.
6) Provide Focused Feedback.
Types of Prototyping
Some of the types of prototyping include:
Mockups: These are solutions built to showcase how the real products will look like.
Simulations: This is the presentation of ideas or solutions by creating models.
Story-boarding: This comes in 3 processes.
1. The process of brainstorming situations and problems for solution.
2. List characters and explain or describe their experience.
3. Draw down ideas and explain them to make it clearer.
Prototyping is considered as a vital process in design thinking.
Prototypes should highlight what works and what does not both from a design and user perspective, this enables a more robust design to be developed that addresses any issues without having to worry about affecting a live version.