The 2 Rewards of Prototyping



Innovation is risky. To leave matters just as they are is one way of making risk seem to go away, although it only spreads the risk out over such a long time that it only appears negligible. If you are making progress, you will simply have to accept some risk. As with all endeavors, with risk can come reward, and there are two distinct rewards that we see prototyping bring to innovation.


1. Reducing Risk

Prototyping is one way of reducing risk. When the idea exists only in our heads, it is inherently difficult to think of all the different ways that users might react to it. we may be completely taken with the idea, but others might react negatively. Creating a representation of the idea through prototyping is one way of reducing the risk of a complete failure. If you can get the idea into an experiential form, then you'll know right away whether or not it will work.


2. Latent Knowledge

Because our preferences and even behaviors are shaped and centered around systems, objects, and ways of interacting, understanding a future state can be difficult. Prototyping is a way of building a future experience so that people can interact and respond. Their reactions and opinions are valuable because they move you beyond assumptions. To get to latent knowledge, make something and experience it.


Explicit knowledge is often gathered by marketing departments to segment customer markets and to gauge preferences. Observational research can reveal insights that are manifested by behaviors that users exhibit. Often they are unaware of these behaviors. This is the nature of tacit knowledge; it is automatic and embedded in routine and tradition.

Going about your day today, what ideas can you bring to creating a simple prototype to make it a tactile, and experiential process?


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