Design Kit: Prototyping

Design Kit Promo Vid from IDEO.org on Vimeo.

Human-centered design is a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor-made to suit their needs. Prototyping is a crucial part of this process. Building prototypes gives you a chance to get your ideas out of your head and into the hands of the people you’re designing for. By getting feedback early and often, and continuing to improve your idea, you’ll be well on your way to getting useful ideas and solutions out into the world.

This course builds on Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centered Design, a class that has been taken by thousands of teams around the world. Now +Acumen is thrilled to once again partner with IDEO.org to offer this brand-new course on prototyping. This four-week curriculum will build on your existing knowledge of the human-centered design process and help you to become a more innovative problem solver by strengthening your prototyping skills. You’ll walk away knowing how to prototype products, services, and environments, and get constructive feedback along the way.

Our Partner:

Acumen is excited to partner with IDEO.org in offering this course.

IDEO.org is out to design an end to poverty by bringing creativity, empathy, and innovation to the social sector. Our goal is to improve the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities through design and we’re doing it in three ways: through the products, services, and experiences that we design; through the problem solvers we fuel; and by inspiring the social sector to adopt human-centered design.

 

You'll Love This Course If:

  • You’ve taken Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centered Design and are eager to take the next step
  • You’ve learned the basics of human-centered design and want to learn new strategies for making your ideas tangible and improve them through feedback and iteration with real people
  • You’re eager to learn new ways to prototype products, services, or environments

What You'll Learn:

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Practice the mindsets and methods of human-centered design so that you can become a more effective, innovative problem solver, specifically through prototyping
  • Produce tangible results quickly and bring your ideas to life through early, rough prototypes
  • Experiment with the power of prototyping in multiple forms—from products to services to environments
  • Gain valuable feedback from the people you’re designing for, and how that feedback can inform and be integrated into new iterations
  • Demonstrate how the cycle of prototyping, feedback, and iteration leads to concept refinement

How This Course Works:

You will work through the course with a group of 2-6 people that we will refer to as your “design team.” It’s strongly recommended you form a team with people located nearby, with whom you can meet in person before starting the course, but you will also have the opportunity to find a team using the course platform once the course begins.

You will learn the prototyping process by applying it to a real world design challenge that we will provide for you. Each week you will explore the main concepts of prototyping through readings, case studies, and short videos. Then you’ll be expected to meet in-person with your design team to get your hands dirty building prototypes and practicing other relevant human-centered design methods.

Throughout the course you’ll have the opportunity to interact and gain inspiration from design teams around the world also taking the course.  Due to the size of this course, instructors will be available to answer questions, but cannot provide feedback on individual assignments.  The course occurs entirely online and there are no set meeting times that you are required to log in, but you will set meeting times to meet with your own team.  You can log in and access the course materials at any time between the course opening and closing dates.

 

Building a design team

Many of the workshop activities will work best if your group has 2-6 members.  For some activities, you will be breaking into smaller subgroups of 2-3 people so a team of at least 4 total is ideal.
No group?

  • Recruit your friends, colleagues, or family members
  • Find a group through the course platform once it starts

Frequently Asked Questions

WILL A CERTIFICATE BE AWARDED UPON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE?

We will provide a Statement of Accomplishment for individuals who complete all requirements.

IF I TAKE THIS COURSE IN A GROUP, DO MY GROUP MEMBERS NEED TO BE IN THE SAME LOCATION?

We highly recommend signing up with a group that is all physically located in the same place as your team will be asked to collaborate on building prototypes together and then head out into your local community where you will use the human-centered design process as a design team.

Remember, all members of your group need to register for this course individually.

HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED TO DEDICATE TO TAKE THIS COURSE?

This course is designed to be completed over 4 weeks.  Each week, there will be approximately 1 hour of individual prep work (completing readings and watching videos) and then 3 hours doing an interactive workshop activities, ideally with a team of 2-6 of your coworkers or friends.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL SIZE FOR MY GROUP?

We recommend a group of 2-6  individuals, with the ideal number being about 4. If your group is too big, it can be more difficult to coordinate schedules and conduct discussion together.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TAKE THIS COURSE?

All +Acumen courses are free.

ARE THERE ANY PREREQUISITES FOR TAKING THIS COURSE?

It is strongly encouraged that you take Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centered Design before taking this course.  However, if you have previous experiences with human-centered design or design thinking, you are also welcome to take this course.  You might want to check out  IDEO.org’s Design Kit site to review essential concepts before beginning this prototyping course.

WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS?

This course will be provided by a platform called NovoEd. Please review NovoEd’s  Technical Requirements and Browser Compatibility for more information on Mobile Compatibility and Low-Bandwidth Support.  The platform is mobile responsive but there is no app available at this time.

You need a computer that allows you to watch videos through this platform, download our course materials (PDF readings) and upload your assignments.

MORE QUESTIONS?

Please contact courses@plusacumen.org

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