Prototyping Resources

Prototyping is a key phase of the innovation process. It means creating a quick, no- or low-cost but tangible version of your idea to collect feedback from real users of your solution. In the business world, this quick version of the innovation is sometimes called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – the most basic version of your idea that is sufficient to collect feedback.

Prototyping is central to the innovation commitment of rapid cycles of learning. Since innovation is about developing new ideas there is no way to be sure the ideas are going to lead to the intended outcome(s). If too much time and money is invested in building the first version(s) of the idea, then innovation teams will be less open to hearing and considering neutral or negative feedback. This limits the amount of learning that is being done and a team might push forward with an idea with only weak evidence of effectiveness or without considering the feedback users provided about how the idea could be improved. By testing quick and no- or low-cost versions of ideas, innovation teams can remain open to learning, adapting and improving (or pivoting) through multiple innovation cycles.

Storyboards were discussed in the prototyping workshop as a format to map out (describe) how the new idea would work in real life. A storyboard is like a comic book in that it captures key events, interactions and activities. Describing an innovation idea using a storyboard can help to highlight the key assumptions of the proposed solution. The assumptions the underpin an innovation idea are elements that should be prototyped during the learning/testing phase of the innovation process.

For a full recap of the prototyping workshop, you can view the slides (below) or watch the session recording (*Remember to sign into your Zoom account to view the recording)

Access Passcode: SLU%eduJ5

Online workshop materials

Thank you to all of the teachers who joined us for the online workshop on education innovation earlier this month. We hope the strategies and processes shared during the workshop will help you on your innovation journey. For your reference, the workshop slides are provided below. I’ve also included examples and worksheets for the Say/Do/Think/Feel empathy exercise (called an Empathy Map in Human-Centred Design lingo) and storyboards. We will cover more on empathy, storyboards and prototyping in our next session together.

Thank you for your insights and energy during the workshop! Wishing everyone well, Carrie