Taking our prototypes out for a real-world spin offered a great opportunity to identify moments for education, catch mistakes or blindspots early on in the design process, minimizing the risk of shipping products that might have less of an impact.
Ultimately, in-context prototyping is all about empathy: experiencing the product or feature the way that the user will, and helping us to identify more closely with that user.
It was important to me to bring members from across the team — not just designers and researchers, but product managers and engineers as well. This ensured that everyone experienced the real-world scenarios together, had the opportunity to give valuable input, knew exactly why we made the decisions we did.
Putting your prototypes through their places out in the world and stress testing use cases, both early and often, is a great way to keep the end users’ needs in the foreground throughout the entire process.
by Evi K. Hui in Designing from the Car: Why Context Matters