Week6Tsak—From Post-its to Processes

According to the article,  prototyping is the practice of building low-fidelity representation of products, service, or experiences in order to learn and test before proceeding, is at the heart of the human-centered design process.

Q: What should you do BEFORE you start prototyping?

1.Define the problem—Before starting to prototype,we must define the problem and the content and break up large projects into manageable chunks, building solutions for improving specific problem points.

2. Some principles should be considered, Like the human-centered design ideology, fully embrace listening to your users and be committed to iterative thinking and working.

3. Using the concepts to start the initial conversation and be careful about introducing terms like ‘design thinking’ before people understand some of the key components of the process.

4. Preparing the team before design process. Getting the team primed to think and communicate differently. Doing some games to loose up ready to build upon each others’ ideas, which can  inspire and engage your team. and allowing ‘stupid ideas’ flourish.

5. Preparing the physical space and materials and stock a small supply cabinet with arts and crafts supplies to encourage staffs.

Especially, get away from regular meeting rooms or offices spaces.

There are some differences between Sketches and Prototypes

屏幕快照 2014-11-01 下午10.19.14

visually showing the continuum from sketch to design

Q: means of ‘low-fidelity’,’just-good-enough fidelity’ and ‘high fidelity’

1.Low-fidelity prototypes are generally limited function, limited interaction prototyping efforts. They are constructed to depict concepts, design alternatives, and screen layouts… These prototypes are created to communicate, educate, and inform.


This low-fidelity prototype of a new web design for SCAD’s Interaction Design department shows the initial concepts for improving reading and posting interactions.


low-fidelity paper-based prototypes, such as storyboards.


  • DETECT AND FIX MAJOR PROBLEMS EARLY—quickly exposed to user feedback enables us to visualize and solve core issues related to the product’s usability and proposed functionality.
  • BUILD CHEAPLY AND EASILY—Low-fidelity prototypes can be easily built by individuals and teams with little or no technical skills. on a small or nonexistent budget and in a short time period.
  • DRAW FEEDBACK THAT FOCUSES ON HIGH-LEVEL CONCEPTS, RATHER THAN EXECUTION—gather their thoughts on high-level concepts such as user flow, layout and language
  • ITERATE MORE WILLINGLY—Because the less of effort and resources required,it is easy to change the prototype completely. Iteration is key in a truly agile design process.
  • Carry and Show Them Easily—most low-fidelity prototypes can be easily carried around and shared. This flexibility is particularly important when designing collaboratively and communicating with users to obtain feedback.

2.“high fidelity” prototypes are computer-based, and usually allow realistic (mouse-keyboard) user interactions. High-fidelity prototypes take you as close as possible to a true representation of the user interface. High-fidelity prototypes are assumed to be much more effective in collecting true human performance data (e.g., time to complete a task), and in demonstrating actual products to clients, management, and others. Also, high-fidelity prototypes redirect attention towards the aesthetics of the product and closer to final project. However, interaction designer Marc Rettig points to the imminent risk of working with high-fidelity prototypes, which is that you will likely “hear criticisms about your choice of fonts, color combinations, and button sizes.”

According to the article, the team learned that if they found the sweet spot of ‘just-enough’ fidelity, then users can grasp the concept or variable and give useful feedback. However, there’s nothing wrong with high-fidelity prototyping, especially when you are in the later stages and thinking about issues like branding, look and feel, and all those other details. One way to keep this process going is to have multiple rough prototyping checkpoints so that design decisions are constantly getting refined – maybe the first step is a sketch on a paper, the next is a rough mockup on the computer, then a detailed mockup, then a rough built-out version, and then iterate to the final product. These steps make it so that all the design decisions are well understood, refined, and debated all the way through.

 Optional extension

Main stage in the design thinking process:


The design thinking process used at the d.school. In practice, design thinking often involves iterating through the cycle multiple times and repeating the phases as needed.

Empathize: Empathy is the cornerstone of human-centered design. project teams intentionally select a specific target user group to investigate in more depth.

Define: which follows empathy, involves synthesizing findings in order to identify and articulate an approach to the challenge. During this phase, team members process, map, discuss, categorize, reflect on, and make sense of the data they accumulated in the field. It often takes longer time to process the complexities of their empathy work, and discovering the clear path, crisp framing of the problem .

Ideate: The ideate phase is when team members start to focus on the generation of possible solutions. like the brainstorming which  is only one way to generate ideas, and researchers have differing opinions about its effectiveness

Prototype and Test: Prototype representations of ideas, usually with the goal of communicating the ideas to users and getting feedback. Quick prototypes mean quick feedback and enable much more human-centered solutions. During testing, the students learned that, for low-confidence users, the ability to see other visitors’ reactions to the art was more important than the ability to choose what art they saw.

It is the time that finish the empathize, define, ideate ,three stages to do the prototype.


Laura Busche,2014. The Skeptic’s Guide To Low-Fidelity Prototyping. [online] Available at:<http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/10/06/the-skeptics-guide-to-low-fidelity-prototyping/>%5BAccessed 06 October 2014].



Silvers,D,M., Wilson,M.and Rogers, M., 2013. Design Thinking  for Visitor Engagement: Tackling One Museum’s Big Challenge through Human-centred Design.[online] Available at:<http://mw2013.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/design-thinking/>%5BAccessed 01 November 2014].


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