Rather than prototype a complete mock-up of a solution, it’s more productive to single out and test a specific variable. Identifying a variable not only saves time and money (you don’t need to create all facets of a complex solution), it gives you the opportunity to test multiple prototypes, each varying in the one property. This encourages the user to make nuanced comparisons between prototypes and choose one option over another.
How to identify a variable
Prototype with a purpose. Based on user needs and insights, identify one variable of your concept to flesh out and test. Then build a few iterations. Keep prototypes as low resolution as possible.
Remember, a prototype doesn’t have to be, or even look like the solution. You might want to know how heavy a device should be. Create prototypes of varied weight, without making them operable. You may want to find out if users prefer delivery versus pick up. Build boxes for each service, without filling them.
By selecting one variable to test, you can bring resolution to that aspect of your concept and slide one step closer to a design solution.
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