Rapid Visual Prototyping

When you’ve got a strategy to design, why not project it on the wall and work on it with your team?

Ide_1 In a recent Fast Company article titled "Strategy by Design", Tim Brown, the CEO of the product design firm IDEO, describes how organizations can tap into a team’s intuitive and creative depths when developing a strategy.

Tim describes the need for collaboration, story structure, prototyping, and transforming a team’s ideas into a practical media format that other people can easily use.  You can easily apply these skills yourself by using a tool you already have on your desktop – PowerPoint.

There are a couple of tips at the end of Chapter 1 of BBP, describing how you can use storyboarding techniques to create visual profiles of potential audience members (p. 44) , to role-play an audience (p. 45), or to produce a strategic collage (p. 45) to help you structure Act I of your story template.  This is a form of rapid visual prototyping that keeps costs low while generating high-quality ideas.

It only takes the click of a button to turn on a projector or print out some blank storyboard pages and tape them to the wall. The real value from this exercise comes not from the pieces that you collect, but from the combined creativity of the people involved.

When you start tapping into the creative power of your team, you’ll be able to conduct some rapid visual prototyping of your own to figure out the strategic stories that your audiences are waiting to see and hear.

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2 Responses to “Rapid Visual Prototyping”

  1. Jason Womack says:

    When I check into a hotel (some 3-5 nights per week), one of the first things I do is unpack. My clothes get hung in the closet, the workout gear goes next onto the desk (work out first, go out to work later), and…the “bathroom bag” goes on the counter. I take out my Expo dry erase pens, and there, on the spot, I get creative.

    On the mirror I write the comments, questions or quotes I want to see upon rising in the morning, and upon retiring in the evening. When I check out, a quick wipe with a tissue erases the message.

    It’s rapid, it’s visual, and it inspires…

  2. cliff says:

    Great idea, Jason! I’ll have to give that a try at my next hotel…

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