Prototyping is nothing more than getting ideas and explorations out of your head and bringing them into the physical world.
A prototype can be anything that takes a physical form, be it a wall of sticky notes, a role-playing activity, a space, a room, an object, an interface or even a storyboard.
In early explorations, prototypes should be rough and fast so that we can learn quickly and investigate many different possibilities; we should never get attached to a prototype, as the word itself says so because of its Greek roots, "protos" for first, and "typos" for model.
Prototypes are most successful when people (the design team, the user and others) can experiment and interact with them. What is learned from those interactions can help deepen empathy as well as shape successful solutions.
Traditionally, prototyping is seen as a way to test functionality.
Prototyping is used for many reasons:
Many of the goals of prototyping are shared in the four categories above. We prototype to:
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