It's Not Frankensteining: Why you should be building twin prototypes

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Slides from a presentation by Will Myddelton at UX Lisbon 2014. Watch the actual presentation here: http://vimeo.com/myddelton/not-frankensteining

When developing new product ideas a single prototype is simply not enough. Building and testing twin prototypes allows you to assess competing hypotheses (great for settling arguments), lets your clients to contribute design ideas (amazing for buy-in) and keeps radical ideas in the design process for longer (essential for developing fragile concepts into stronger ones).

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It's Not Frankensteining: Why you should be building twin prototypes

  1. It’s Not Frankensteining why you should be building twin prototypes
  2. Frankensteining The merger of multiple designs into one despite the fact that they don’t form a coherent, consistent whole. usabilityfirst.com
  3. Prototype A Prototype B Build a behaviour change service for patients struggling to lower their cholesterol Activities Exercise Diet and lifestyle Reporting Automatic tracking Self-reporting Motivation Self-motivated Peer pressure Rewards Tangible rewards Points and badges Duration Until reach goal Until set time
  4. Not Frankensteining • Focus relentlessly on named hypotheses • Gather input from users doing tasks (not clients) • Use what you learn in the next round of design
  5. Whyyou should be building twin prototypes
  6. 1. We are often wrong
  7. “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt”
 Bertrand Russell
  8. 2. Users are often wrong
  9. “Most people don't know what they want 
 unless they see it in context”
 Dan Ariely, behavioural economist
  10. 3. Clients are often wrong
  11. “Paradoxically, it is easier to construct a 
 coherent story when you know little.”
 Daniel Kahneman, psychologist
  12. 4. Design needs exploration
  13. “The biggest part of our work disappears automatically. But you can’t look at these designs as waste. They’re ideas.”
 Rem Koolhaas, architect
  14. Stolen from Designing the Design Process by Sjors Timmer
 http://notura.com/2012/02/rem-koolhaas-designing-the-design-process/
  15. 5. Life is short
  16. “Working on the right thing is probably 
 more important than working hard”
 Caterina Fake, flickr co-founder
  17. Why you should be building twin prototypes 1. We are often wrong 2. Users are often wrong 3. Clients are often wrong 4. Design needs exploration 5. Life is short
  18. Whenyou should be building twin prototypes
  19. for new products
  20. After exploratory research after initial research
  21. Before further iterations before design iteration
  22. with three heads
prototyper, copywriter, visual designer
  23. Howyou should be building twin prototypes
  24. Planning project Creating hypotheses Building prototypes Iterating the design Testing prototypes • Sell the idea on the time and money it will save. • Commit yourself to twin prototypes in advance.
  25. Planning project Creating hypotheses Building prototypes Iterating the design Testing prototypes • Be big and bold and explicit with hypotheses. • Test things you think you know the answer to.
  26. Planning project Creating hypotheses Building prototypes Iterating the design Testing prototypes • Don’t give yourself too much time to prototype. • Ensure each prototype is internally consistent.
  27. Planning project Creating hypotheses Building prototypes Iterating the design Testing prototypes • Task with one, then the other, then compare. • Narrate blank sections during the research.
  28. Planning project Creating hypotheses Building prototypes Iterating the design Testing prototypes • Tear it all up and start again each time (really). • Don’t Frankenstein! Create a coherent whole.
  29. “Enough confidence to believe you can solve any design problem and enough humility to understand that most of your initial ideas are probably bad”
 Larry Tesler, HCI specialist
 Quoted in Designing for Interaction by Dan Saffer Will Myddelton, cxpartners
 @myddelton

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