Tips for rapid UX prototyping

Miranda Singler • 8/13/2015

Rapid Prototype

Here at Symsoft, we do a lot of brainstorming on whiteboards and even paper. It gets us to literally “think outside the box” of our own computer screens to quickly figure things out together.

Here are a few tips for rapid UX prototyping for your next design and development project:

1. Get away from the computer

When I was in art school, my drawing teacher said “The best thing you can do is to take a break from your drawing. Don’t look at it for an hour, and then come back.” I think the same applies to UX design & development. Get up and take a mental break from the computer, so you can make room for fresh ideas and perspectives.

2. Talk things out

Talk things out (in person, preferably) so everyone involved in the project can get a chance to discuss any potential issues. The earlier the better. By talking things out face to face, you can quickly get different view points, and address potential design and development problems early on in the process. Listening, soliciting input, and providing feedback can help designers and developers understand each others’ perspectives and result in a stronger team.

3. Get some markers and a white board

While talking through any potential issues, do some quick (30 second) drawings on a white board. You can do this to sketch out user flows, navigation systems, dashboard filters, or database functions. It’s amazing what a few lines on a blank slate can clarify.

4. Focus on the Big Picture

While it’s good to figure out details, don’t forget to focus on the big picture. In such a detail-oriented field as web development and design, it’s easy to get caught up in minor elements of the project. Don’t forget to focus on the big picture early on in the process. Ask questions like: What’s the goal of your project? Why will users come to your website? By concentrating on the big picture early on, you make sure that everyone stays focused on the overall goal.

In closing, stepping away from the computer to rapidly prototype can be an engaging, team-building experience. By talking things out and quickly sketching ideas you can:

  • Get a fresh perspective
  • Strengthen your team through constructive dialogue
  • Address potential problems early on in the process
  • Focus on the big picture

Thanks for reading and happy prototyping!

Miranda Singler

Miranda is a designer with 5 years of experience in facilitating business communications through clear design solutions partnered with engaging visuals. She loves brainstorming and iterating to develop intelligent visual storytelling that enhance and humanize technical communications.

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