What is Prototyping Canvas?
Prototyping Canvas is a strategic prototyping template that guides users to answer critical assumptions or questions.
Why Prototyping Canvas?
Prototyping Canvas effectively guides designers through prototyping processes, facilitates a common prototyping language amongst team members.
It encourages intentional prototyping practice, which should ultimately reduce resources and improve design outcomes.
Method Card Reference
Be familiar with the prototyping mindsets, techniques and approaches
Start with an opportunity. and select a few top concepts of solution
Choose one concept or solution and then explore
Let the critical assumptions and questions guide the prototype development
Fill out the template until everything is done, except Insights
As a team, discuss the various versions of the canvas
Talk about the assumptions and questions, and how you plan to build and test prototypes
Build, Test and Reflect
Use the sketch and build plan to turn your sketch into a prototype
Test the prototype as quickly as possible, often with users or other stakeholders
Capture feedback from testing, both qualitative and quantitative and reflect on future directions
We recommend first work on the canvas individually or in pairs. Then, use the various Prototyping Canvas to have a larger conversation as a team.
Pair & Share
Use the Prototyping Canvas as a conversation tool with your team, client, or other important stakeholders.
Make sure you embody the important mindsets for prototyping during this activity: have a bias towards action, practice non-attachment towards your concepts especially during testing, and build to think and using “failures” as learning opportunities.
Every prototype needs a purpose. A prototype should answer a question or validate/invalidate and assumption. Use your assumptions and questions to guide the development of the simplest prototype possible to validate these assumptions and/or answer these questions.
Find the quickest path to experience: you want to prototype in the shortest amount of time with minimal cost and resources used to test your assumptions and/or answer your key questions.
Quickest Path to Experience
Use one or more prototyping principles to help you achieve building the simplest prototype possible to test your critical assumption or question
This video gives you a walk-through on how to do an Prototyping Canvas, through a worked example of a Autonomous Vehicle Design Challenge.
Here are examples of the Prototyping Canvas for solving a problem posed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and solved by two design teams (Lauff, Menold, and Small, 2016). The problem to solve is: How might we increase social-emotional competencies (SEC) in young children? The teams engaged in the human-centered design process to solve these problems.
Lauff, C., Menold, J. and Small, M., 2016. Two Design Cases Exploring Development of Social Emotional Learning Solutions. In 10th International Conference on Design and Emotion, D and E 2016. Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Lauff, C., Menold, J., Wood, K., 2019 [forthcoming, in review]. Prototyping Canvas: Design Tool for Planning for Purposeful Prototypes. International Conference on Engineering Design. August 4-8. Delft, Netherlands.
Camburn, B., Dunlap, B., Gurjar, T., Hamon, C., Green, M., Jensen, D., Crawford, R., Otto, K. and Wood, K. (2015), "A Systematic Method for Design Prototyping", Journal of Mechanical Design, Vol. 137 No. 8, p. 081102.
Camburn, Bradley A., Jan M. Auernhammer, Karen Hui En Sng, Paul J. Mignone, Ryan M. Arlitt, K. Blake Perez, Zack Huang, Subarna Basnet, Lucienne T. Blessing, and Kristin L. Wood. "Design Innovation: A Study of Integrated Practice." In ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC), pp. V007T06A031-V007T06A031. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2017.
Teo, K., Wee, Y., Swee, A., Altybayeva, A., Gopal, M., Kamiso, N., Foo, D., Lauff, C., Wood, K.L., “Design Innovation (DI) Learning Modules,” SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC), SUTD, Singapore, idc.sutd.edu.sg, 2018.
Additional Resources on Prototyping
TED Ed Lesson by Tom Chi on Rapid Prototyping Google Glass, https://ed.ted.com/lessons/rapid-prototyping-google-glass-tom-chi
IDEO Zine: “You can prototype anything”, to get in the mindset that you truly can prototype anything, even a restaurant
Pretotype It: free e-book by Alberto Savoia, “make sure you are building the right ‘it’, before you build it right”, introducing idea of ‘pretotypes’ as early exploratory prototypes
Design Thinking: Prototyping short online course by Randall Elliot of frog design through Lynda platform
ACUMEN+ IDEO short online free course on Human Centered Design 201: Prototyping