"Interesting" is the word we often hear when telling others about our innovative ideas. Unfortunately, this is mostly the last thing we hear about it before it soon dissolves in the busyness of both working and personal lives. Unless formed, shaped, and colored, ideas by themselves are defenseless and mostly worthless. How can an idea be more than just "interesting"?
Unless formed, shaped, and colored, ideas by themselves are defenseless and mostly worthless.
One way to get past the "interesting" point and get more attention is to make your audience 'feel' the idea. This is guaranteed to give you more of their attention for a longer time. Prototyping is the best way to have your audience feel your idea.
In a broad sense, a prototype is whatever can give your idea a visible/tangible form and/or feeling. This can be with simple drawings, 3D printed or virtual models, videos, interface mock-up, etc. Depending on your situation, a prototype does not have to be functional or attractive. However, building a prototype does require more investment and effort than to just speak of the idea.
More Reasons for Why Prototyping:
Here are some reasons that can partially illustrate the power of prototypes:
Everything is Prototype-able:
Prototyping is becoming an essential and central practice working in design innovation. The shapes and forms of the prototypes can be very different depending on the field and purpose of the prototype. The commonality is that everything is prototype-able. For example, a user interface can be prototyped with a series of hand sketches on paper, an interactive dashboard can be prototyped with linked PowerPoints slides, a video advertisement can be prototyped with a cellphone camera, a physical product can be prototyped with 3D printing, etc. With that, it would be worth it to have rapid prototyping as a key part of your innovation processes.
In an earlier blog post, we discussed 3D Printing and product design and how prototyping can play an important role in the field. You can also check out the 3D Printing Opportunities and Applications course that dives even deeper into 3D printing for prototyping and other fields.
Do you use prototyping to support your ideas? What types of prototypes do you often build, and for what reasons? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
By Tayseer Almattar, TforDesign Founder
Tayseer is the founder of TforDesign. He has a passion for learning design and making all learning digestible and exciting.