Why Do We Prototype?

It’s about getting real, and it’s about getting tangible. Service prototyping in just forty–eight hours is a challenge—and it is especially challenging since the Jam has so many people with different professional backgrounds—there is rarely a common understanding what ‘prototyping’ is. Everyone has different expectations.

We're Jamming: Illustrations 'Why do we prototype'. Figure by GSJ HQ.

From foam models to storyboards to working test programs and wireframes, from desktop runthroughs to theatrical staging—anything is possible, even a simple brick can be a prototype. It’s all about how the prototype is used.

Any ‘thing’ (e.g. this brick) can be a prototype—but what actually makes it the appropriate prototype is how it is used by the designer ‘to explore or demonstrate some aspect of the future service or artifact.’

Let’s look up a few guiding questions and additional resources that can help you to help your Jammers get more real, more tangible with their work… 

We're Jamming: Why do we prototype. Figure by GSJ HQ.

We prototype to make thoughts tangible and…

  • to give our thoughts shape!
  • to experience the idea/concept!
  • to find a language everyone understands!
  • to make our ideas tangible and sharable!
  • to experiment!
  • to improve our thinking and inform our decision making!

We prototype to present and…

  • to deliver a picture of what can be done!
  • to facilitate express evaluation!
  • to present the thinking—i.e. the service without any talking!
  • to communicate ideas and share within teams or with a public!

We prototype to test and…

  • find out what’s relevant to the customer!
  • check what would make your service ‘ideal’!
  • expose blind spots in a process!
  • test the service concept with outsiders!
  • get feedback!
  • learn what works and what doesn’t!
  • allow the idea space to collide with reality!

We prototype FOR FUN!

  • It’s fun to create prototypes and figure things out by doing!
  • Team involvement and sharing rocks. Let’s JAAM!

< We’re Jamming    Prototyping Guides And Tools >


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