Skip to content
The Innovation Process
Activity 4.3 D

Evaluate prototypes

The resources in this activity will help you evaluate your prototypes to better understand how different components work, starting to bring your minimum viable solution together.

As you develop different prototypes you will need to evaluate each of them, and as you learn how different components work, you should start to see the different parts of your solution coming together.

At some point you will need to bring together all of your learning from prototype testing to create your Minimum Viable Solution. This is the model that you will look to trial in a real-world humanitarian environment during the Pilot stage. At this stage you should also give further thought to the sustainability and potential scalability of your solution.

The resources in this section will help you to think through different aspects of this decision-making process.

Service Prototype Evaluation

Evaluating prototypes of service-based solutions is primarily about seeing how users rate each touchpoint of the service. This will enable you to assess whether the service is generally going to be one that users value. The Service Design Toolkit provides a useful tool for testing and evaluating service protoypes.

Minimum viable solution assessment

During your prototyping, you will have tested a number of hypotheses with users. Once you have completed all of your tests, you will need to assess whether you are in a position to implement a full pilot with a Minimum Viable Solution. In order to do this, you will need to assess whether all of your testing has provided enough confidence for you to move forward in piloting your Minimum Viable Solution.


Eco-Design Checklist

The Delft Design Guide provides a great checklist to evaluate the ecological impact of your solution (section 2.1). This is very useful for physical products, and especially for electronic items. By assessing potential ecological impact at an early stage, you can start to think through ways to minimise the environmental footprint of your solution.

Design Criteria

For a final assessment of your Minimum Viable Solution, it is useful to look again at how well it meets the design criteria in your Challenge Brief. Hopefully your current solution will clearly address the challenge that you outlined and fulfil the criteria that you developed.

However, it is also possible that your iterative prototyping has led to a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the problem and user requirements, and that has led to the solution meeting user needs in the tests, but not meeting your original design criteria.

If this is the case, and you have pivoted away from your initial intensions, then you should make sure you are able to identify and articulate when key decisions were made to change direction, and why these decisions were made. If you have a strong understanding of how and why changes have been introduced, you should create a second version of your Challenge Brief to capture these new insights.

Note: A responsible approach requires that any changes introduced into your solution should be supported by documented evidence of newly-identified user needs. Under no circumstances should you ‘reverse engineer’ your Challenge Brief just to fit the outcomes of your prototype tests.