The Ideal vs. the Really Cheap: Prototyping to the Rescue!

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Last week was Reading Week (the Canadian version of Spring Break?) which should have given me some extra time to post up the latest happenings in class, but alas, it was not to be.

We’ve moved onto the second project of the course which focuses on a “cheap” method, a type of rapid prototyping we’ll call Assumption Prototyping. Although it could be easily argued that this technique could fall under “fast” and is in actuality a somewhat mutated form of prototyping.  Hey, this is UX for the real world, right? I can take liberties.

A good friend introduced this particular prototyping technique to me – it’s something that he stumbled across/kind of invented and plays very nicely with startups, Lean UX, minimum viable products and the like.  We are all familiar with the ideal iterative design process…it’s goes a little something like this:


(Of course, everyone has their own labels/methodology, but essentially it’s research–>requirements–>design).

But what do you do when you just need to quickly throw something together, whether it’s to see if the concept is even viable or to align your stakeholders?  Enter our friend the Assumption Prototype:

The prototypes my class will be building will be for a (nonprofit) Children’s Hospital and tackle several different contexts of use, including mobile, web & environment.  The twist?  One hour to interview stakeholders, and three hours to build the prototype…errr, air our assumptions!

Stay tuned to see what develops.


Interested in the User Experience course I’m teaching? Here are more posts:

>The First Class

>The Second Class

>The Third Class

>The Fourth Class

>The Fifth Class


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