Design Thinking 4 – Prototype (Part 2)

This is the fifth post in our Design Thinking journey for our inquiry into Play. This particular post is the second part of our ‘Prototype’ stage, as this was quite a long process with the school closure and other setbacks.

If you missed a previous article or need helping getting to another part of the Design Thinking series, please use the following table of contents:

Stage 1: EMPATHIZEStage 2: DEFINEStage 3: IDEATEStage 4: PROTOTYPEStage 5: TEST
Work to fully understand the experience of the user for whom you are designing. Do this through observation, interaction, and immersing yourself in their experiences.
Process and synthesize the findings from your empathy work in order to form a user point of view that you will address with your design.
Explore a wide variety of possible solutions through generating a large quantity of diverse possible solutions, allowing you to step beyond the obvious and explore a range of ideas.
Transform your ideas into a physical form so that you can experience and interact with them and, in the process, learn and develop more empathy.
Share your prototyped idea with your original use for feedback. What worked? What could be improved?

In our last post the students were in the initial stages of making their prototypes. Some students had almost finished their prototype, whilst others still had a while to go.

Design Thinking Steps

Design Thinking Steps

Over the last week, all the students have worked extremely hard and taken great care to create something that they are very proud of. Have a look at some of the students in action:

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Designing a Prototype
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During this week it was really about adding the finishing touches and refining their prototype. The children were extremely reflective during this experience, always thinking about ways they could improve on their design.

Many children added colour and paint to liven up their design.

Some children made reinforcements with tape and glue.

Whilst other children worked together to support their classmates who were absent from school or needed help.

When students had felt like they completed their prototype, they were then able to make a final reflection about their creation. First they had to compare their prototype against the student created checklist. How many ticks did their prototype get on the checklist? Could they change it to get more ticks?

Prototype Checklist:

  • Can you score?
  • Can you run around with it?
  • Can you find a way to win?
  • Can you use it by yourself?
  • Can you use your legs and/or hands?
  • Can you choose to be a character?
  • Can you move things around?
  • Can you put things inside?
  • Can you play around with it?

The students then reflected on what they liked most about their prototype and one thing they would change. This final question gave students one last opportunity to make changes to their creation. When they had the chance to actually sit down and look at their creation carefully, they realised there was potential for more additions and made these.

Here were some potential changes some children considered:

I want to add paintChristian
We could make it taller with blocksJean
I would like to add bricksAschwin
I would like to add a castle to my creationCiara

By Friday morning, and after nearly 2 weeks of hard work and thinking, all the children had finished their Prototypes and were ready to share them with their Magic Years peers.

What do you think?

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