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Three Tips to Successfully Prototype Your Ideas

Posted in Design, Experience Design, and Service Design

In Tim Brown, CEO and president at IDEO, recent LinkedIn post, Why You Should Talk Less and Do More, he states that “Ideas are of little use if they stay put as ideas…” and “Shortening the distance between talking about an idea and prototyping it is key to becoming a successful design thinker.” Tim shares these three tips to successfully prototype your ideas:

Start Small

Make your first prototype quickly out of whatever materials are at hand. Whether it’s a sketch, cardboard model, video, or improv of a service scenario, making your idea less abstract will help you improve it.

Fail Fast

You’ve probably heard this before. When you’re trying new things, failure is inevitable. Accepting that failure is part of the process is key. As IDEO founder David Kelley famously said, “fail faster to succeed sooner.” It also helps to tell people that what you’re doing is an experiment. That way, it doesn’t seem so precious that they can’t give you honest feedback.

Ask for Help

Don’t assume you have to do everything yourself. Just explaining your idea to potential collaborators will help clarify it and asking for assistance invites others to build on your idea.

I know that I have talked about prototyping again and again. But it really is the key to successful design thinking – and successful designs.

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