A short reflection of past few weeks – what did I learn from ‘process’?


In past few weeks, we tried to come up with new ideas many time in unbelievable short time duration. Here are some facts that I found about team work and prototype.

 Firstly, don’t forget the priority goal.

While making prototype, the gap between what the ideal and the reality are sometimes different, and unexpectable things always happen. It is impossible to figure out all the problems at the same time. Hence, treat solving problem with ‘main function’ as prime issue, then move on the next one.

We wrote down the basic information for our product, and then treat them as principles while creating prototype.

Secondly, Visualising is necessary.

On 4 November we had a wonderful workshop at Unlimited Lab in London, where we could make a physical product base on our design on 1 November. While trying to make the first MVP (minimum viable product), we found that people got different explanation for the same description.

For instance, years ago, I attended a communication workshop, where we played a simple game-a person (A) got a picture, another one (B) took a piece of white paper. They were not allowed to see each other’s paper. A indicate B draw down what A said then finally check if the two pictures are the same. However, most of us drawn a different picture from the correct one.

As that case, misunderstanding happens even between the people growing up in similar environment. Then it is not difficult to imagine how hard it is for an international team. Especially in London, in such a melting pot, visualising is the best way to communicate with one another.

A diagrammatic sketch of the game we did in the communication workshop

According to National Instruments, there are 6 main reasons to prototype:

  1. Fail early and inexpensively
  2. Gather more accurate requirements
  3. Technically understand the problem
  4. Resolve conflicts
  5. Rally financial support
  6. File patents more easily

As what we have experienced so far, we have only experienced 1~3. Yet we have already understood how important prototype is!

Thirdly, limited time arouses limitless potential.

Every time, when I was told the task, the first thing came to my mind was always ‘No way…it’s impossible to achieve this in such a short time.’ Yet, I (and team members) always had fun and did our best on time. If people face a problem, sometimes we tend to ignore it, put it away, or abandon. However, if we are ‘forced’ to complete a mission in a limited time, then we are ‘forced’ to solve the problem, or think in a different way. In fact, many good ideas are present since we have to think in a flexible way than before in order to complete the mission.

A short reflection of past few weeks – what did I learn from ‘process’?

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