Prototype for Simone's graduation project about civic engagement

In my last post, I described the ideate-phase of the Design Thinking model. Following this model, the next thing to do is to prototype the result(s) of the ideation. These prototypes can be very basic, even a sketch can be sufficient in some cases.

Prototyping enables testing

The main objective of the prototype is to enable testing whether the assumptions made in the ideation phase are feasible. These tests can occur during the prototyping phase itself, for example when one finds out that the desired amount of text does not fit the size of the surface it should be displayed on. The result of the prototyping phase is further used to test the assumptions of the design in the next phase of the Design Thinking model: the Test phase. In this phase, the prototype helps to communicate the idea and lets stakeholders, future users and designers ‘show’ rather than tell, for example how they would use a device.

Serious intentions

Since at this point my concept was a digital platform, I decided to create screenshots of the concept. This way, I could explore how the information I wanted to communicate fits a website. The screenshots further helped me to structure my concept and communicate it comprehensively to the other people involved in my final master project. As a bonus, creating a prototype also shows that the designer has serious intentions and is willing to put time and effort into the concept, which makes others more inclined to help. This is especially valuable in the testing phase, which is the last step in the first iteration and the topic of my next post.

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About

Hi! My name is Simone and I’m a master student at the department of Industrial Design at the TU Eindhoven. For my graduation project I am working together with Design for Humanity in their quest on Designing Democracy. Through a series of small blog posts I will try to take you along my design journey, following the steps of the Design Thinking process.

Also read her blogs about the previous steps in the Design Thinking process: empathize, define and ideate