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Sharing low-fidelity prototypes with communities of users

Keywords: HCI; prototype; user-centered design; low-fidelity prototypes; cultural probe; understanding user.

Aims and Rationale

The aim of penultimate activity of The Hilali Toolkit is to enable students to establish a final iterative step in the design process in which the community members will feed back on low-fidelity prototypes and give the green light to the implementation of agreed prototypes.

This activity also represents a good opportunity for the students to revisit the cultural probes handed over during the ICH-HCI workshop to obtain further information that will refine the path towards the most appropriate technology design. Community members can therefore be invited to share their probes.

Learning Outcomes and Associated Areas of Knowledge

Synthesize the processes that enable the generation of prototypes

Question and Evaluate the suitability of low-fidelity prototypes

21st Century skills

  • Collaboration and Communication
  • Self-Direction
  • Research Skills and Practices
  • Flexibility and Adaptability


A large room with enough seats and a layout for the students and community members to sit together and discuss the suitability of the low-fidelity prototypes.

How to

The students should lead this activity and self-organise to present the low-fidelity prototypes and collect the feedback.

It is advisable that each team prepares a presentation in which they show all the progression from the data collected during the Archival research and the ICH-HCI workshop to the analysis, the findings and the ideas for design produced during Thematic analysis.  Ensure that the students keep track of all the feedback from to community members in light of reusing them in the next activity, Developing prototypes.


Given the nature of this activity, students need to be prepared to the possibility that the low-fidelity prototypes are not understood or appreciated by the community members. This could result in the students being despondent and demotivated after all the work they put into designing if they are not encouraged to adopt an open approach to receiving feedback. They can be encouraged to be objective and reminded of lessons learned during earlier stages of the process where they developed participatory approaches which developed their capacity to perceive the community members as collaborators with a common goal.

If you are designating this encounter to incorporate the cultural probes, it is worth anticipating that community members might have forgotten or had not time to do the cultural probe activity. In this case, students should still try to collect feedback on their initial design and bring to the next developing activity as much information as possible.

Assessment for Learning

Similarly to the ICH-HCI workshop, this activity represents a valuable research experience within a participatory design process.  Students have the opportunity to synthesize the processes that enabled the generation of prototype by consolidating their collaboration with the users, having gone through multiple iterative steps. By now, students might be confident with adopting the right style of communication and enquiry by questioning and evaluating the suitability of low-fidelity prototypes in partnership with the community. This should enable a wealth of refining of feedback and information that will evaluate the final design and inform the redesign/development.

Assessment 'How to'

As a take home assignment, ask the students to answer in a written report the following open-ended questions:

  • How did the community evaluate your prototype?
  • How do you plan to integrate their feedback into redesigning features and characteristics before the development?
  • How was the cultural probe useful into refining your design ideas?
  • Were your participants at ease and what did you do to put them in a comfortable position?
  • How would you evaluate this activity in light of developing the best prototype possible for the self-documentation of the community ICH?

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Student Assignment Editable Word File


  • Ensure the all feedback is safely stored and used in the next activity to develop the prototypes.
  • Encourage the students not to take personally potential negative feedback on the design.