Ways to test (AKA "3 days, 3 weeks, 3 hours")
Ways to test (AKA "3 days, 3 weeks, 3 hours")

Ways to test (AKA "3 days, 3 weeks, 3 hours")

Description
A great activity to do before prototyping
Reading Time
7 mins

Overview

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What is this for? This 20-min activity is designed to help a group of people think through multiple ways to test an idea with minimal time and effort. This activity helps to inspire creative ways to test with customers and is a precursor to building a rapid prototype. Mindset and core principles A fundamental principle of Design Thinking is to test ideas quickly. Rapid prototyping is a proven way to get early validation and reduce the uncertainty and risk of new initiatives.

Here is an example of this activity from a real group session:

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In the above example you can see some things have already been defined:

Tips before you start

  • It's essential that a basic solution idea already exists before undertaking this activity
    • If there is no clear idea yet, check out the Design Sprint activities for some methods to collaboratively come up with solution ideas:
      Day 2 - Ideation Activities
  • Explain the fundamental principle of rapid prototyping to the group: i.e. to quickly test an idea (in a matter of hours or days) to gain real customer reactions and reduce the risk of failure
    • It's important that everyone understands the purpose of this activity and what will happen next

Step 1: Three months

  • Set a timer for 5 mins
  • Ask the group to imagine you had 3 months to create a prototype to test the solution with customers
  • Ask them to start calling out options as they think of them
  • If the group has trouble getting started you can kick off with 1 or 2 ideas of your own
  • Write each option so the group can see their ideas (or welcome participants to write themselves)
  • Continue until the time is up, or until you have 6-10 ideas (aim for variety)
An example from a real group session. Notice the diverse range of alternatives.
An example from a real group session. Notice the diverse range of alternatives.

Step 2: Three days

  • Set a timer for 5 mins
  • Now imagine you only had 3 days to create a prototype to test the solution...
  • Ask the group to start calling out options and note them down
Here notice that the options are much faster to create
Here notice that the options are much faster to create

Step 3: Three hours

  • Set a timer for 5 mins
  • Repeat the process but imagine you only had 3 hours to create a very fast prototype...
  • The options the group suggests should now be very fast and simple
  • The purpose of going through these iterative steps is to guide the group to a different way of thinking. Our usual mindset is to think about how to implement full-scale solutions. This method helps teams find much faster ways to validate new ideas and reduce the uncertainty and risk of innovation.
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Try it now

Something to make this feel actionable and easy to apply. Haven't quite figured out exactly what this could be.

Embed Mural board here?

Additional Resources

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Recommended reading

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Additional Resources

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