Miniature Model

Making your idea come to live by presenting it as a miniature 3D scenario

Practical Information

What is this tool?

A tool to visualise your idea and to show how it is being used by you users by making a three-dimensional (3D) model.

Why do we use it?

Making a tangible representation of your solution helps you and your team to create a shared understanding of the interactions related to your solution.. With this overview, you can plan testing moments and add new ideas to improve your solution.

Design phase:



Modeling material


30 minutes - 1 hour

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Worksheet URL

A step-by-step guide

1. Collect any type of material you can find (e.g., paper, blocks, sticks, stones, tape, clay, Lego blocks etc.) to create a miniature 3D representation of your product or service in a real-life setting. 

2. Build the location where your product or service is used or purchased. You can also create several locations, for example, a shop or market, together with a house or a mobile kiosk.

3. Within the location(s) you built, add the people involved in your service or product delivery and show how they interact with your product or service. Add notes to explain the different roles or activities of the people and interactions you created.

4. Wrap up the activity by discussing your miniature model with your team and people engaged in the creation:

•  Do you notice things that you hadn’t thought about before?

•  What changes would you make to your idea based on the model?

•  Does the model give you new insights on additional services or specifications that are needed for your solution?

How other organisations used this tool

How to use the outcomes of the tool?

Use the outcome of this tool to start prototyping and testing different parts of your solution. The miniature model helps you identify the biggest risk elements and user types to include in the testing.

Related tools

Actor network
Being aware of all the actors that have an effect on your design challenge
to identify all the stakeholders to include in your miniature model you can review your actor network.
Bright stars
Categorising all your ideas to identify the ones to develop further
Use some of the solutions that seemed feasible and impactful during the Bright Stars exercise to develop your miniature model
Lottery game
Generating many creative and fresh ideas
Use some of the new ideas that came up during the Lottery Game to develop the miniature model for your stakeholders and visualise how they interact with these solutions.

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