With the design of learning having to evolve and adapt to a more complex and ambiguous world, Design Thinking as a human-centered and creative approach is becoming embedded in more and more of learning design principles. One of the most impactful aspects of Design Thinking in the context of learning design, is prototyping. This stage of design thinking fosters new ideas and concepts from user insights into rapidly designed and constructed working models.
Prototyping is the axel in learning design connecting people, ideas, and the final solution, into constructive conversations and feedback loops. Some of these applications can be:
It communicates the intent of the designer to all people involved.
It is a great litmus test to assess how viable the idea is in addressing user problems (early in the process).
It allows for a cycle of continuous improvement between design and development, early feedback, and reviews get everyone into this rhythm.
As prototyping is often an early conceptualization of an idea, it can allow for expanded thinking and creativity in what is possible. It helps that a prototype is usually a quick, low-cost option which gives designers the courage to try inventive new approaches.
So now that we have the merits of including prototyping into your design cycle, we would like to share some key principles to adopt the right mindset. Prototyping can feel contrary to anyone who has worked according to a set plan or approved curriculum, and it often takes courage to step into doing something new, especially if it also involves multiple people as part of the process.