Creating a cheap and fast solution features to validate crucial elements of your idea

Practical Information

What is this tool?

An early sample, model, or version of your solution that is usually cheap and easy to make. It allows you to test early on if (parts of) your idea as you expected.

Why do we use it?

A prototype allows you to test your assumptions about how your idea will work before you invest in a fully developed solution. Generating a large amount of feedback from future ‘users’ of your solution, will result in a more relevant and successful solution.

Design phase:

Create & test loop


Pen and paper, Modeling materials, Post its, Print, Online tool


1 - 3 hours

Worksheet Print
Worksheet Digital
Worksheet French
Worksheet Arabic
Worksheet without Text
Worksheet URL

A step-by-step guide

1. Start by looking at what elements you want to test for your solution and make a quick sketch or description of the prototype you will create. 

2. Think about which kind of prototype would work best and what materials and skills you have. There are many options:

• Paper prototype: hand-made sketches to test interfaces for digital products. These can be created using plain paper on which you draw all the pages of your product. You “fake” the interaction by asking a tester to tap the paper and manually show them the next ‘screen’.

• Clickable prototype: Making use of online software, such as powerpoint, invision or figma to create interfaces for digital products and also test the use flow of the ICT service/tool. You can use this to test remotely with you users, using a video call.

• Product prototype: A 3D model of the future product that can be scaled in size. This can be created from all materials available. 

• Service prototype: Create a setting in which the tester can experience a service or an interaction with the envisioned product. Team members can play the role of different people who would be engaging with the users. .

3. Create a working prototype and let your hands and creativity do the work. Remember that the idea of a prototype is not to make it look perfect, but instead create a product which can be tested on its use.

4. Use the prototype in a user test with real users.

How other organisations used this tool

How to use the outcomes of the tool?

Once you have your prototype(s) you can create a testing setting in which you observe how “users” are responding to the prototype. The outcomes of the testing will inform your final design..

Related tools

Prototype planning
Identifying and planning a prototype to validate crucial elements of your solution
Use the plan you created to identify what elements you should prototype
Miniature Model
Making your idea come to live by presenting it as a miniature 3D scenario
A quick way to create an overview of the whole setting in which your prototype is used, is by creating a miniature model
User testing
Collecting feedback from real users about your solution before it’s finished
Once your prototype is ready, use this tool to plan a test the prototype with users

Thoughts? Share with us!

We would like to know how you experience how you used our tools.
Share with us your experiences and filled out worksheets.

Email us at:

Back to all tools