A short note about prototyping

I like traveling by public transport.

Aside from accidentally hearing Game of Thrones spoilers, I sometimes get to overhear design and creative chats. The benefits of the Shipley to Leeds commute, eh.

I earwigged a conversation the other day, the general gist was creating visuals in Photoshop is the only way to create a “good prototype”, whatever the circumstance.

The only way. To create. A good prototype.

A good prototype.

Remember the definition of prototype.

A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from.

Prototypes are there to allow you to explore an idea, a thought, a theory, an approach. How that prototype manifests is totally up to you.

Photoshop is cool. As are all the various other ways: paper and pens, Pop, Marvel, Sketch, Keynote, using a code framework, acting, and so on.

If you are more comfortable with a certain way of prototyping over everything else, great, good for you. But there is no one way to creating prototypes, let alone one way to create a “good prototype”.

A “good prototype” takes into account what we are exploring. If we are exploring a particular medium then maybe Photoshop is the only way to create a “good prototype”. But, again, Photoshop over Sketch, Keynote etc? Photoshop is not the only way.

A prototype is something you create with all the tools from your own creative toolbox. Use what’s right for you and right for your project.

If you think there’s only one way to do “good prototypes”, then get real. Get prototyping your prototyping.

Originally published at www.ermlikeyeah.com on June 19, 2015.

Written by

Independent strategist, designer and team builder. Previously: Agency land big cheese; Senior designer at HMRC, DWP, and NHS Jobs; Design lead on #NHSbeta.

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