Prototyping or Modelling

Applying various design thinking techniques such as traces or probes allow us to understand and identify the needs of our users. Probing techniques such as Bodystorming or Shadowing give us an insight into user behaviours and values and are critical to informing our own decisions. It is all about positioning in the mind of the customer or user. Peter Drucker famously said;

the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

In order to find that fit we must build a dialogical relationship with users. Bodystorming is particularly useful to gain a greater understanding an event or experience, taking a step by step approach. Shadowing on the other hand, allows us to take a fresh perspective to how users actually interact with our products and services.

While prototyping a service innovation will not be physical it must be tangible. Pictures and videotaping performance helps in understanding behaviours. The founder of IDEO Tim Brown reinforces the fact that, ‘the goal of prototyping isn’t to finish but to learn about the strength and weaknesses of the idea and to identify the new directions that further prototypes might take’. Prototyping doesn’t have to be complex and expensive. Rudimentary prototype is useful and it is worth remembering that the more finished a prototype seems, the less likely its creators will be to pay attention to and profit from feedback.

In class prototyping

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