Prototyping is a State of Mind

It’s a given that the award-winning design firm IDEO utilizes prototyping in their quest to fulfill a client’s request for a better shopping cart or when creating the mouse for Apple.

But how does this help when innovation isn’t a daily ritual? And what if your organization doesn’t make things, but provides a service? And what if your organization is a church?

Quick prototyping is about acting before you’ve got all the answers, about taking chances, stumbling a little, but then making it right.

Prototyping is a state of mind.

In the book “The Art of Innovation, IDEO general manager Tim Kelley outlines some of the key principles of prototyping the firm has developed over the years:

  • Build to learn – when a project is complex, prototyping is a way of making progress when problems seem insurmountable
  • Make your luck – once you start prototyping, you begin to open up new possibilities of discovery
  • Prototypes beat pictures – living, moving prototypes can help shape your ideas
  • Bit by bit – don’t go for the touchdown all in one play; work on your project in stages, getting approval and/or revisions done in steps. Keep the momentum going
  • Shoot the bad ideas first – don’t stop when you’re stuck; prototyping even an unworkable solution often generates new ideas

A playful, iterative approach to problems is one of the foundations of the creative culture at IDEO. It can be at your organization, too.

So, what are you going to prototype today?




One thought on “Prototyping is a State of Mind

  1. Pingback: Design Like Apple « 27gen

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