Cansu Akarsu is our current volunteer Challenge Community Prototyper. You'll see her popping up across the Women's Safety Challenge with handy tips about prototyping. Below she outlines her prototyping process for this challenge.
As the Refinement phase approaches, I encourage everyone to reach for pen and paper! In order to make your ideas as clear as possible so that both collaboration and feedback can take place, create a visual presentation such as a storyboard of how users will interact with an idea, step by step.
Sketching an idea quick and dirty will help you think visually, share your thoughts effectively, and simply make it easy for the OpenIDEO audience to quickly understand your idea. The aim of making a storyboard is to break down a user’s journey and discover key moments you might want to develop. How will your target audience hear about the idea? How will they interact? Where does it take place? Who is involved?
Storyboards do not need to be pretty and you don't need to be an artist to do these sketches. It is especially important to do these quickly, so by following the activity sheet by IDEO.org and +Acumen, you can map out your user’s journey in 20 minutes. For prototyping the ‘Women’s Pool’ idea, Mathieu and I collaborated and followed this activity - check out my blogpost to see the storyboard and the insights we had.
In order to bring out your creative confidence, our good old friends ‘pen and paper’ are there to assist you! OpenIDEO characters, star-shaped people, stick-figures are your best friends to express an idea!
The best feature of these characters is that they are able to do any activity! Try to give them a newspaper to read, take them to work, help them talk with speech bubbles or give them a phone to text. These activities will help you build a storyboard and tell the user scenario of your idea. Check out Luisa’s No More Dark Buses Campaign and the storyboard Alexis created for the Solar Empowered Communities to see how powerful quick and dirty sketches can express an idea!
Creating diagrams is another powerful tool to map out a structure, a network or a journey of your idea.
I usually start a sketch on paper and take a snapshot with my phone and upload (using a CamSnanner App creates clean black and white images). Alternatively, you can also scan or create your visuals on the computer.
There are endless possibilities to go visual! For more inspiration, check out how Zoe uses bitstips to visuzalie her Superwoman Here idea or the computer illustrations Shane creates for the After Hour Homefronts idea.
As long as an idea is clearly communicated, all methods are valid. If you have any challenges with creating a storyboard, feel free to post a question below and I will share more tips and tricks!