iteration minimises risk.
The bigger the implication and the wilder the predictions, the riskier the innovation. Every tiny iteration reduces implications whilst improving predictions. That means we all need to know how to prototype.
Innovation involves risk, prototyping reduces it.
Innovation involves the risk of trying something that hasn’t been done before, and may not work or may not be perfect.
While we may not be able to get millions of people to try and test our ideas, there are ways we can make this happen with just a few people, for smaller versions of our ideas. The challenge is to do this faster than ever before because product innovation shelf life is dropping rapidly.
Different types of thinking create different types of ideas
Iteration is called different things by different professions depending on how they see iteration.
A scientist sees iteration as experimentation; a user experience designer sees iteration as testing, whilst a chef sees iteration as continually inventing new dishes and tasting them.
These are the three professions that live and breathe through iteration. Whilst iteration is an incredibly powerful way of reducing risk, it can also lead to innovative ideas.
How to prototype.
Innovating without using the iteration phase is like learning to walk a tight rope without a safety net or safety harness. If we fall, it’s game over. However, if we walk a tight rope that’s just one foot off the ground, the implication of falling off is minimal.
Iteration methods are ways of reducing the height of the tight rope. Ask yourself:
What’s a viable way of experimenting?
What will make this more useable?
What will make this more palatable?