Experience prototyping

Published on March 11, 2019 by

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To test a new service


Experience prototyping is a method to test new service ideas and to show what the experience will be like for all participants


One Hour


Prototyping and visual material (eg. cardboard, photos, post-it-notes, string), digital camera, audio/video recorder


In Small Groups

Image courtesy of Service Design Tools, click here to visit site


This realistic simulation is certainly one of the best ways for visualising human behaviour and for sharing even its least describable qualities with the specific recipients. The prototypes could be a physical model of a specific touchpoint, a sketch or a sign. It could also be a role-play which focuses on the service’s interactions. The prototype should focus on the service’s most important or unusual touchpoints. To create a prototype first look your service blueprint and think about which touchpoints might need prototyping. Then, decide on how you are going to prototype it; you could make a model or act out (role-play) an interaction. Make sure that you take photographs or a video recording so that you can review the prototype. After presenting your prototype or role-play, ask your users or people engaged in the service to feedback on the prototype. Finally, create a new version of the prototype based on your users’ feedback, incorporating the improvements suggested.


  • DO create your prototypes quickly, test them and then improve the design: prototypes do not need to look beautiful or take a long time to make – it’s the ideas that are important
  • DON’T be afraid to use your imagination; prototypes don’t need to work, they are just props to help explain what the experience might be like
  • DO remember that prototypes are only created to help you improve, so don’t worry if it doesn’t seem to work the first time round




Experience Prototype, Service Design Tools, access at http://www.servicedesigntools.org/tools/21

Buchenau, M., Fulton, J. S. (2000) Experience Prototyping, in DIS’00 Proceedings, Brooklyn New York

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