Hacking The Prototype Mindset: Fun-Fail-Fast



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We love to learn fast. Learning fast allows us to understand, with minimum use of resources, the best way we can hit the mark. That’s why we also love to fail fast. The whole prototype-testing process is about it: recognizing what works and what doesn’t. But sometimes it’s easy to think that failing fast comes at a great expense: the abolition of fun.

Failing/learning is only achievable by setting time constraints, tight deadlines. Deadlines (as you may know already) rapidly create stressful environments. As we continue to work on more projects, we realized that stress is actually cool. We want that kind of pressure. But we also figured out that the secret was about pouring just the right amount of it along the process.

Fast failure may not always be easy, but it should always be fun. Fun helps us reach the learning because it’s a powerful act of creativity. During design sessions, having fun keeps the spark and prevents getting us away from the purpose behind it.

I’ll share with you now some techniques we frequently apply. The goal is to add to our workflow just the right amount of stress and the right amount of fun. Also, we’re always in the look for new ideas, so feel free to suggest! 

‘No, I’m seriuosing you!’

Setting clear objectives and sticking to them is the first and most important step we take. With those already on mind, everything else falls into place. This small effort opens the doors to amazing creative possibilities.  

We make it a social event.

Problem solving becomes highly enjoyable when we embrace a collaborative process. It’s not only about getting the right people in the room, but also setting a comfortable environment that welcomes error just as victories.

We don’t mind being dirty.

Our hands are our trustful allies. Sketching iterations is an intuitive process; letting imagination flow can make a big difference. And although our workspace ends up looking a mess, we are sure we’ve used our best tools to their full potential.

We hit play. (My personal favorite)

Some people underestimate the power of design sessions sponsored by good music. Imagine, ethos you can dance to! Here are three songs that have given us unforgettable experiences with substantial outcomes: 1. The safe bet + The sprint trigger + The “you won’t believe it, but it works”

At the end, we can only be sure of one thing when doing prototypes: “either you win or your learn”. So with that mindset, why not to include some fun?

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