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prototypes can be evaluated. For example, cognitive walkthroughs or interactive
demos are among the methods that can be used in the different evaluation
settings, such as usability testing, focus groups, and participatory design sessions.
Whatever the evaluation or review techniques, it is important to avoid any potential
risks with Excel prototypes.
Mitigating the Risks of Implementing
a Finished Prototype
Why is sharing the results of a prototype the riskiest step in the prototyping
process? What happens after you've finished your prototype can be unpredictable for
four reasons:
Engineering can't implement the design. If a prototype is designed without due
consideration for the way it is to be implemented or without regard for
adequate resources, the engineering team might go its own way with
implementing or not implementing your design, creating tension between the design
team and the engineering team.
Competing prototypes. Multiple simultaneous prototypes within the context of a
given design effort might offer differing and conflicting design directions. This
happens when different prototypes are created by different parts of a larger
software team, each unaware of what the other is doing. This is usually the
result of either inadequate or no program management.
Outdated prototypes. What happens when a prototype is no longer current? A
prototype is generally created for a specific stage of the software creation
process. Neither time nor requirements nor concept stand still during the software
design and implementation stages. Watch for prototypes that degrade rapidly
over a short period of time. An outdated prototype can compromise the
outcome of a product design effort.
Misunderstanding and misinterpretation. How is the audience of a prototype to
know the primary intent of your design and how it should be interpreted? An
audience can misinterpret the design intent of a prototype by not
understanding its objectives, purpose, or design criteria. For example, a prototype meant
to be merely proof of an innovative design concept can be confused with a
finished design if the prototype's fidelity is too high and its intent is not clearly
How do you mitigate these risks by prototyping in Excel?
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