Software prototyping has many variants. However, all of the methods are in some way based on two major forms of prototyping: throwaway prototyping and evolutionary prototyping. BizzFuse has developed an original methodology based on an innovative combination between horizontal and vertical approaches.
BizzFuse has developed a complex methodology based on designing required skills. Using different artifacts, the concept is based on the following stages:
Point of view. Design is human. Therefore, the journey we are proposing starts with a point of view for going forward.
Understand. We propose to start with the customer, context and the business in mind. Understanding is a fundamental step in creating something better and a profound understanding of the client business. That helps for avoiding the “designer” biases.
Ideate. We all have ideas. Sometimes the ideas that pop into our head keep us up at night – ideas we feel we must follow to the end; they must be executed. Surely they’re the best ideas ever. But the truth is: as good as they may be, ideas are limited. Impact is only created when ideas become additive and expansive: more is better. Ideation is about generating a lot of ideas quickly. Big ideas. Bold ideas. Feasible ideas. Impossible ideas. Even crappy ideas. It takes a creative, optimistic mindset and the ability to use the right side of the brain to build on your – and everyone else’s – shower idea without evaluation or judgment. At the end of an ideation session, it’s not uncommon to have a wall of 500+ sticky notes, each with a uniquely interesting idea. This will become the fuel for generating future options.
Prototype. Think like an engineer or an architect. Just like the Wright brothers built kites before they ever attempted to build a human scale plane, architects always start with models first. Of course you know why they do this: if you’re designing Stonehenge, it’s a lot cheaper to test it on a small scale before hiring hundreds of people to move 60-ton megaliths around. Likewise, Leonardo da Vinci created hundreds of sketches and built scale models of his machines in his workshop, weeding out problems before he ever shelled out real money to build the real thing. Sketches not only helped da Vinci solve potential construction problems; they also helped him to explain and sell his ideas to his patrons. The Wright brothers, the architects of Stonehenge, and Leonardo da Vinci were prototyping masters. They understood to their cores that it is foolhardy to assume that you understand your abstract idea well enough to construct it flawlessly on the first attempt. Moreover, these masters of their craft understood the other people need to get a clear grasp of an idea in order to become enthusiastic about it. The idea needs to be tangible first! Prototypes are not meant to be a full-blown product. They’re built such that the customers can experience them with the real value being the lessons learned which will ultimately lead to a better idea. In this way a prototype is much richer than an idea, or even a description on paper. A prototype allows you to explore different perspectives. Why prototypes – especially visual prototypes – work best is science: we are visual, auditory, and crave experiential able to see, touch, and manipulate something, to feel the weight of it and see it respond to an action, gives us a deeper, more visceral understanding than a description. This is what prototypes can do for our clients.
By validating assumptions you will learn something new everyday. And, just as often, you will find that your initial assumptions were wrong. Your experiments and tests will fail. This is actually great news. It means that you’ll learn a ton about your idea early. And you’ll learn how to make it better, before committing investments and taking big risks. But validation also means that your idea will have to evolve. Nothing of your initial idea, even the aspects you are most in love with, your “darlings, ” is off limits. Belief is not enough: it’s all about proof. Just like a scientist or detective, you’ll need to be ruthless in your pursuit of proof, following the evidence wherever it leads. And it’s essential that you learn to “kill your darlings. ” This is what design and innovation are all about. So, the next time you come up with what that game-changing idea, consider validating it before you execute. Not only will you save time and resources, you’ll almost certainly come up with something even better – and with the evidence