Note: PSI wishes to acknowledge the inspiration for certain principles described in this activity guide from the following resources: The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design by IDEO,org; design thinking bootleg by d.school at Stanford University; the Introduction to Human-Centered Design online course taught by IDEO.org through +Acumen, a program of the Acumen Fund, Inc.; and PSI Board Member and Maverick Collective Founding Member, Pam Scott.
It’s vital to test our interventions with users before taking them to scale. In this activity guide you will learn how to build low-cost models or simulations (“prototypes”) of a product or service, so you can get feedback from members of the target audience early in the process, before you create the fully realized solution.
Creating and testing prototypes can avoid a situation where you invest a great deal of time, resources and effort to design and deliver an intervention only to have your target audience react negatively or indifferently to it.
Prototypes can be created for physical products, digital media/apps, services, and investment alternatives. For instance, you might:
• Build a prototype for a piece of equipment out of Legos to see if it is too bulky for community health practitioners to carry in the field.
• Draw the interface for a mobile app on sheets of paper, one for each screen, to see if people can guess which buttons to tap to perform certain tasks.
• Role-play service delivery situations to see how different operating procedures or a different physical environment affect the outcome.
• Build an Excel model that compares the costs and outcomes of pursuing different investments.