Ideate

Imagine and conceive as many solutions as you can

This part is the most fun. Most entrepreneurial courses start with this part of the design cycle, but that's pretty much useless if you haven't done the proper prepping. Here we will start with the design criteria from the previous step. Let the individual design criteria inspire you to come up with possible solutions.  When you'r brainstorming there is no place for objections. Everyone can come up with ideas. Write the ideas on sticky notes and put them on the back of your Business Model Canvas poster. After your finished generation ideas: 
  • try to group the ideas in natural groups based on "nature of the solution"; 
  • see whether you can combine part-solutions into more broader solutions;
  • categorize and rate solutions based on "covering design criteria";
  • prioritize and rate design criteria based on importance for your "business concept";
  • make a short-list of the "Best Ideas" and pick a winner;
When you have picked this idea as the winner, write argumentation "Why" this idea is the winner and why other ideas are not as good. When this argumentation is based on assumptions, try to check those assumptions and turn them into facts before you go on to the next stage.


Prototype

Choose the best solution and refine by prototyping

When you have chosen the solution you want to go with, it's time for you to create something your customer can relate to. A prototype can have any form of shape, as long as the "product/service experience" for the customer is real. The customer should be able to experience your value proposition. You can chose one or more ways to create a prototype:
  • Create an actual working model of your product, website, app or software;
  • Create a mock-up or wire model of your product, website, app or software;
  • Create drawings or pictures of your product, website, app or software;
  • Create a presentation or animation of your service, product, website, app or software;
  • Create a movie of your service, product, website, app or software;
  • Create a website for your service, product, website, app or software;
  • Create a flyer or leaflet of your service, product, website, app or software;
  • Create a life show or pitch of your service, product, website, app or software;
For physical products this means that you'll need to put together a (functional) model of your final product, that has the most essential features and benefits. Use sheet plastic, cardboard, sticks, pens en clear tape to get an idea of what the final product looks like and what it can do. For software products you can do modelling of screens in power-point or wire-frame models for functionality. For services you can create an animation, movie or landing page for customers on the internet, with or without fake "buy" buttons.

The main goal for prototyping is finding out whether customers believe your product is desirable and if so what are they willing to sacrifice to acquire the product or service.