Chapter 8. Phase 4: Prototype

Phase 4: Prototype

You’re almost ready, and you have narrowed down what you need to build. During this phase you will build a prototype—it could be quick-and-dirty, low fidelity, or high fidelity. All product prototypes are living versions of the idea you have in your head. These tangible prototypes need not be perfect but should provide enough detail to be able to test adequately the assumptions your team has made. The goal here is not perfection. Don’t get stuck in endless loops trying to make your prototype look like the final product. That won’t help you. The goal here is to create a mockup your users can interact with—something that can test your hypothesis and validate or invalidate your assumptions. Because you typically have only one day to build the prototype, it should be as high fidelity as needed, and nothing more.

What Happens During the Prototype Phase?

Schedule and/or Confirm Interviews

~1 hour

Build the Prototype

~6 hours

Finalize the Test Plan

~30 minutes

You need an agenda? Just go make it!

Schedule and/or Confirm the Interviews

Check Your Users Against the Target Persona

If you have already scheduled appointments with test subjects, you are ahead of the game. If those people match the personas you’ve identified, even better! If neither of those are true, it’s time to scramble. While the designers and/or developers are making the prototype, other ...

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