MAKE IT BETTER
They usually say that ‘‘practice makes you better, but not perfect’’. So do I ! To keep a long story short, there is no perfect design in the world, and never trust a design that is flawless. The design process is an iterative process which involves a series of trials and tests before launching the final product or device.
Then what is the most critical stage of your design which is supposed to make your design better and not yet flawless? In my opinion as a newbie in the design process I think it’s the Prototyping stage. Prototyping is an iterative process based on user’s feedback. A prototype is an approximation of the product along one or more dimensions of interest. Prototyping mainly depends on users’ feedback in order to make it an iterative process.
The main point that you should keep in mind as a designer is that feedback is an important factor to be considered within the prototyping stage. Feedback from users enables you to figure out the blind spots of your device or product.
You might be asking yourself what is the main reason for making a prototype before making a final device or product? Well, here are some reasons why you should make a prototype of a product before the main product itself.
- Prototypes help a designer to identify blind spots of a device or product.
- A prototype helps to reduce time and cost. Prototyping improves the quality of the specifications and requirements provided to customers.
- Through prototyping you can understand the project requirements.
- Increased user involvement, most customers want to feel like they are involved with the intricate details of their project. With prototypes, customers can give their immediate feedback, request project changes and alter model specifications.
Also, here are some cons of the prototyping process.
- Excessive development time of a project.
- Developer misunderstands the user’s objectives: for a prototype to be successful, it requires both the user and designer to be on the same page unless the project is likely to fail.
What about different types of prototypes used in prototyping processes? Here are some mainly used prototypes in design procedures.
- Sketch and diagrams are also known as paper prototypes. It is mainly used as a quick method of sharing concepts and as means of communication between team members.
Example of sketch prototype
- Wireframes are the digital layout or platform of the product mainly used in prototyping software.
- Functional or working prototype is the type of prototype that allows you to test the idea of a product to see if it actually functions the way you intended. The main function of this kind of prototype is to check if the design really works and it requires working parts.
A working prototype
- Scale model prototype can be made with anything from building bricks to craft paper. It doesn’t need to have working parts, it just gives a rough idea of the design. This prototype works well for creating scaled concepts before producing a large-scale model.
Example of scale model prototype
- Experimental prototypes are used to test certain features that are added at a later stage in the design process. Used both digitally and for physical models, these allow designers to augment a design after creating an initial prototype.
For projects that require revision and end user feedback and recommendation implementation, prototyping is a must. Prototyping directly determines the direction of the entire project. Successful prototyping identifies and corrects problems long before they can negatively impact and irreparably harm the final finished project.
Remember that not every project needs a prototype to examine its value. Prototypes are more valuable when it comes to physical projects rather than projects which are built on software. The main reason is software based projects have many changing variables and unknown logistics.
This is all about what we have learnt within the last week of August (from 23rd to 28th of August). Eventually the week was so fresh and super cool.
Barnaba, Emmanuel Leone.
DIT Design Studio, ©2021.