As a result of software eating the world, physical products and environments are smart and connected. There is a shift from focusing on product to multi-channel user experience, and successful companies are employing multidisciplinary teams involving the disciplines of interaction design, industrial design, architecture, branding and service design.
Prototyping has become a way to ensure teams are designing and building the right system of interdependent touchpoints. At Adaptive Path, we employ rapid prototyping in nearly every design iteration. Our clients enjoy the benefits of risk reduction and concept validation, and through prototyping with standardized kits, we also avoid unnecessarily long timelines and bloated budgets.
Our two primary kits, Small Object and Environmental, are comprised of commonly used tools, materials, and artifacts that can be quickly assembled to represent a complete customer experience.
On a recent consumer electronics project that included industrial and interaction design, we deployed the Small Objects Kit to make 1:1 scale prototypes. We used sculpting clay to explore several form factors and attached flip-able paper interfaces where screens would exist. These real-size prototypes enabled us to hold concepts in our hands and test physical use cases and digital gestures that would not be possible if we only created sketches.
Another example of how we used our kits was for a retail kiosk design within a big-box store environment. Our research and concepts include the entire customer experience including environmental, communication, and service design.
Following in-store research, we held a collaborative concept generation workshop with client stakeholders. We used our Small Objects Kit to build miniature retail experience prototypes to improve communication, workflow, and engagement for staff and customers. It was refreshing and confidence-building for our client and our team to build together, to discuss the merits of each design, and to align on a suite of potential solutions early on.
Promising elements of the small-scale prototypes were identified and further explored in two full-scale prototypes using our Environmental Kit. With the kit we built kiosks, information towers, marketing backdrops and furniture. The prototypes then underwent testing with potential customers. Feedback and data gathered included, but was not limited to, proportions, relationships to space and the human body with emotional response. We then extracted the most successful elements from the two designs to create a final full-scale model.
Within the double diamond design process, we used our Small Objects Kit during the Define stage and the Environmental Kit in Design and Deliver.
It’s cheaper to fail early and fast, through prototyping with standardized kits, our designers learn quickly and arrive at the right solution for the right touchpoints within a shorter period of time. This approach inspires our clients and creates long-term buy-in. And, it’s a lot of fun.
Although our kits aren’t currently available, we hope to make them available soon. If you’re interested in receiving updates, click the Stay Updated button below and sign up for Adaptive Path news and events.