Prototyping Principles

Before Prototyping and Principles

Duration: 20–60 mins

After the workshops, you will take the results and design a high fidelity prototype. It needs to be exactly what has been agreed on during the workshops and contain no fundamental changes. Alterations and improvements in UX and visual style are acceptable if you can provide convincing reasons.

During the first Hypersprint, the project needs to be tested for product-market-fit within a few days. This means that the priority for the design work should be on creating a linear screen-flow in as little time as possible. Unless specified otherwise, please de-prioritise component libraries, complex prototype interactions and any (un-agreed) additions to the UX or visual design. The goal is to create a deceptively real-looking design of a product that doesn't exist.

It is important to design to this level of visual fidelity and not go further. Please see our past projects as examples for the level client's expectations.

Reference Material

Do check out this medium article by Andrej Berlin on how to prototype anything in one day for ease of reference.

Distraction-free Concentration


Prototyping is intense — the best way to work without burning out is to use Cal Newport's principles of "Deep Work."

“Professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.” — Cal Newport, author of Deep Work

Implementing distraction-free concentration

If necessary tackle any shallow tasks or messages that are needed for the day. Close any applications or block mobile notifications that could interrupt your concentration. This might require pre-planning, such as:

  • Informing team members or significant others know you can't be reached

  • Setting up an emergency messaging app that people can ping you if you can't be completely switched off

  • Planning breaks and setting a time to enforce them.

Here's a tip from the co-founder of Deep Work Studio:

"As a general rule, I only complete urgent tasks to minimise the amount of work I'm doing during the day. If I can't complete them that day, or they take too long, I make sure they're on a list to be completed later. Completed or on a list, it clears the task from my mind." — Charlie Ellington

Charlie's Experience: The list to achieve distraction-free concentration could go on, but I've highlighted the top three to get into the framework to prototype. Todoist has a great guide on Deep Work that avoids reading the whole book.

Limit your Workday


Newport proposes that Deep Work is like a muscle, it can only do so many reps before exhaustion, fatigue and depleted results. A recovery time is required after pushing the limit.

Each individual will have their own fatigue level. Generally, we've found this to between 3-5 hours of Deep Work.

  • Block the diary as Deep Work

  • Calculate in breaks (recommend fresh air and exercise)

  • Stick to the time and have a hard stop.

  • The hard stop forces prioritisation.

Charlie's Experience: Personally, I have a time timer and set to work in 50-minute intervals. At the end of each interval, I take a toilet break, stretch and walk outside for 10-20 minutes. I do occasionally find myself pushing through 50 minutes if I'm at a critical point where I can take myself away from the design. I reset the time no more than 20 minutes to make sure I get a break.

Minimising Decision Fatigue


You can only make so many decisions throughout a single day.

The theory surrounding decision fatigue is that a human's ability to make decisions can get worse after making many decisions, as their brain will be more fatigued.


Make as many decisions upfront about the design. This happens in three stages:

  1. The Storyboard Session — As the designer on the collaboration, you need to enforce that all the content and decisions are made by the team during the storyboard. It is essential that you don't have to make these or fill in the gaps during the prototyping.

  2. Creating the Work Environment

    This is covered in detail in the next section. It's essential as many decisions are made upfront so that whilst you're designing, you don't need to make them when you're fatigued from the workload.

  3. Whilst Designing With upfront decisions made on visual direction, don't worry about specific details. A button that is 20% perfect visually will not impact the design enough to warrant getting it to 80-100% perfect.

Balint's Experience: While creating the storyboard think about what elements, what components and what different screens you want to use and design. This will help you fill in as much detail as possible. This is the basis of everything that follows. If the storyboard is too vague after the Hypersprint session, you will have trouble filling all the holes yourself. It's essential to create a detailed storyboard.

After The Prototyping Days

User Testing

During or after prototyping, the user researcher will prepare a script for the user interviews, based on your video walkthrough and the facilitators summary of the workshops. After they are done, they will share the script with the team, which will take a look and approve it.

Final Workshop

After the user testing is finished, the researcher writes a report to present in front of the client. Their report will contain the user feedback and everything the client needs to know to get an idea of how the product will be perceived on the market.

Handing Over The Design File

Make sure the Figma file has a reference to any licenses used — e.g. for iconography.

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