• Traditionally prototyping is thought of as a way to test functionality.
  • To deepen your understanding of the design space and users.
  • To test and refine ideas or solutions.
  • To inspire (yourself, and others) by showing your vision.


Prototyping is getting ideas and exploration out in the open and in the physical world. A prototype can be anything that takes a physical form – be it a wall of post-it notes, a role-playing activity, a space, an object, an interface, or even a storyboard. Prototypes should be rough and rapid to allow learn quickly and investigate a lot of different possibilities.

When we are talking about physical artifacts – like products or buildings – it is easy to understand what is meant by prototyping – rough sketches to full-scale models. Business models are prototyped in a conceptual way. A business model prototype can be a rough sketch on a napkin or a detailed business model canvas.


  • Prototypes are most successful when people can experience and interact with them. What you learn from those interactions can help shape more successful solutions.