UX prototyping: 5 questions to ask yourself before you start

by | Mar 8, 2020 | prototyping | 0 comments

➡ Creating prototypes are a great for understanding problems, and uncovering new insights. But, before jumping in, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Is the design problem clear?

If you can distill your problem into a concise design problem statement, great! 🙂

 

Design problem framing is a critical skill for designers, and since you’ll be solving a lotof design problems, throughout your design career, this is a good skill to master.

 

💡 If you’re unclear on the design problem, this usually means you’ll need to go deeper into understanding the needs of the user, or business problem, by conducting more user research, or reviewing data.

Lean UX Problem Statement Example

 

2. Have you brainstormed different ideas?

There are multiple ways to approach a design problem, so generate as many ideas as possible. If you’ve already ideated a lot, then you’re doing good.

 

💡 If you haven’t spent at least 10-15 minutes brainstorming ideas, grab a coworker to help you think out of your zone. Ideation is a team sport, and can be a lot of fun with other people.

Brainstorming design layouts

 

3. Is your prototype the right fidelity?

The fidelity of the prototype is determined by what you want to learn, how much time you have, the experience itself, and where you are in the design process. 

 

Keep in mind that Low fidelity prototypes are easy to generate, and low cost. Whereas, high fidelity prototypes require more time to create, so plan accordingly.

 

💡 If the design requires an understanding of a complex interaction pattern, you might want to use a medium to high fidelity prototype to get the right type of feedback. 

High vs Low Fidelity

4. Do you know what questions you want answered?

Approach the prototyping process with a desire to learn and understand what’s working and what’s not. 

 

Whether you’re sharing your prototype with customers, teammates, or other folks, you should have a list of questions that you want answered to help create a better design. 

 

💡 You can write out all the questions you have about user’s goals, and what questions you have about what the users are trying to achieve to help guide your thinking. 

Uncover questions for prototype [Photo by NeOnbrand on Unsplash]

5. Do your prototype tasks address user goals?

If you have a firm understanding of the design problem, and your users, than you’re on the right track. 

 

If prototype tasks are unrealistic or if they don’t represent user goals, than the user won’t use your design in the way you intend.

 

💡 Review your prototype with design team members, or do a dry run with someone who is knowledgeable about the users to get input on your prototype in its early stages. 

Prototype team input [Photo by Jud Mackrill on Unsplash]

😎 These 5 questions can help you decide if you’ve thought about the prototype in a user-centered way, so you can confidently start testing your prototype.  
Watch my Foundations in UX prototyping course on LinkedIn Learning.

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