Prototypes are used to make the selected ideas tangible and experienceable at an early stage. Here, the product/service is created with simple materials to test a function or an experience. 

Best used for

Getting feedback from customer/social impact partner

Time to introduce this activity in lecture / Time to run this activity

10-15 min / 1 h – several days

In the context of Digital Social Impact courses and learning activities

To get feedback from potential users, students can create a prototype of their potential social impact product/solution

Main Target Group


Potential tools for digitising this activity

Powerpoint, Paint, Photoshop, Figma etc.

Step by Step

1 First, students ask themselves what insights you want to gain from creating your prototype. This should be your focus.

2 Students should create a rough draft of their prototype on paper. Think about how they want their prototype to be tested by users or how they want to receive feedback.


Now, students should design an actual prototype based on the information gathered from the quick draft. This is a small working model of the required system. It does not have to be, or should not be, a perfect product. You can try different types of prototyping e.g.

a. Rough drawing on paper

b. Full size drawing

c. Digital prototype using an online tool

d. 3D prototype etc.


During the prototyping process students should keep the following principles in mind:

a. Fail often and early: Fast and iterative cycles allow difficulties to be identified early.

b. Fail forward: Accept failures as part of the process. Thus, to fail is to learn quickly.

c. Make it tangible: Develop your prototype as tangible as possible.

d. Test with customers and users: Test your prototype with your target group. Validation by users should be done as early as possible to learn as quickly as possible. Use the insights gained for your next prototype.