In Chapter 11, we introduce the key notion of prototyping. While appearing in a linear order within the book, prototyping is more of an underpinning to design-led innovation than a specific step. You make so you can learn. As such, it can easily be done while developing an Innovation Intent, or while working out a component of detail design.

We introduce five kinds of prototypes, which lend to different kinds of learning:

1. Conceptual prototypes
2. Behavioral prototypes
3. Functional prototypes
4. Appearance prototypes
5. Experience prototypes

These different flavors of prototypes can be used separately, or can be combined to test multiple aspects of a concept. Regardless, the goal is to build the most rough, yet most tangible, form possible–specifically keying in on an area of interest–so that you can really engage your team and outsiders in a more robust context of use.

What seems to be working

  • Prototyping is important, so the chapter is essential.
  • We like (the beginning of) the prototype typology we laid out.

Areas that need more work or input

  • 9 pages(!!!) isn’t nearly long enough to cover the breadth we should. We need to expand this chapter significantly and provide examples for each kind of prototype.
  • We mentioned video prototyping in a sidebar, but now our undergraduate students are using it liberally. Clearly, we need to include it as one of the “primary” methods. What other kinds of prototyping should be included? What are your picks for the best books on prototyping?
  • Visual thinking is sort of a kind of prototyping, by a different name. Is it worth maybe introducing it within a sidebar?
After you’ve read the chapter, please post your thoughts, constructive critique, and suggestions below. Thank you!
  • Bruno

    I think you covered the different type of prototypes, however I think the chapter needs to start with a clear explanation why prototypes are needed and how they should be used.
    By this I mean that a prototype should be used to answer one or more questions, or validate assumptions, …
    Different type of prototypes could be matched to different type of questions or assumptions.
    If a prototype does not answer anything, then what is the purpose?

  • joegray

    I agree with your suggestion of covering video prototyping as a primary method. And you may also want to consider writing a side-bar about “maker culture” and the many new and convenient means of rapid prototyping now available to innovation and design teams. Gone are the days of struggling through breadboarding — teams can now sling together LittleBits kits, Arduino boards, and Raspberry Pi with relative ease. Not to mention an endless variety of simple wireframing tools and open courseware in coding.