Is the whole process of prototyping just a waste of precious time and effort? Putting your heart and soul into something that is just a mere approximation might seem like just that to many people.
We look at a talk between Mustafa, Design Advocate at Google and Brendan Kearns, Senior Designer at Google about the right way to approach prototyping
Why is Prototyping used at all?
Prototyping is used to show intent about what the product is to look and feel like and the concerns it should address. Secondly, it is used to inform the designer about the various specifications – the exact mechanism, the parameters, the redlining or the lack of it.
There is only one thing that senior designers concern themselves with respect to prototyping – the speed with which a prototype is produced at minimal cost while conveying intent and vision effectively. They see it as a fruitful time investment which would sooner or later yield a great user experience.
The right way to approach Prototyping
Prototyping typing tools may include everything from static images to clickable ones with flowing motions between them. These can be used for testing on users and seeking their feedback right at the prototyping stage. Gathering feedback on prototypes is a fundamental step that should be taken to avoid doubts and complications that may arise in the future.
It would be advisable to keep the developers informed about your research. This would make the specs, guidelines and principles even stronger and would allow developers to build something with less ambiguities.
Scenario-based design – Leading design into a brighter future
The undisputed star of this entire process is scenario-based design. Scenario-based designs requires designers and developers to look at the issue at hand in its entirety.
Scenario-based design needs a more fleshed out approach. It is used when planning new products or while pursuing a radical shift or a change in direction in a product or service. It can be compared to a step based, dynamic user-journey.
A scenario-based approach would dictate that all parties involved compulsorily acquaint themselves with all processes in the user journey. This includes having a good understanding of the various activities before task implementation, the series of activities during the course of the event, and observing the overall effect this has on user experience.
Scenario based design approach is better at presenting different perspectives that enable designers to get to the root of the problem. These scenarios could be easily generated and validated by applying them to real world situations.
Why aren’t more people adopting a scenario-based approach? Is it a laborious process? Not at all! It only requires that one takes a step back and views the product in a specific context. While doing so, the person who is likely to face this problem must always be at the back of your mind. If you put yourself in his her shoes and then undertake the user journey, you will be much closer to finding the most effective solution to the problem at hand.