Prototyping—around the block and back again

Sametz Blackstone's ProtoShare Experience

Prototyping around and back again

Sometimes you end up where you started in the prototyping process.

We’ve all been there. You’ve considered all the requirements, spent quality time with your whiteboard, consulted with colleagues, even muttered to yourself while walking the dog.

It’s time to conquer a particularly thorny area of a client’s new website.

You develop a prototype, and over the following days, weeks, and months, you poke it, prod it, tear it down, and build it back up…only to very closely resemble the prototype you developed in the first place!

When working with clients on complicated areas of a new website—whether it a be a multi-faceted product table for a financial services company or an index of programs and departments for a major university—we start by developing an initial approach the client can take around the block a few times. And more often than not, we end up right where we started.

It may sound like a waste of time, but it isn’t. This process enables the client to “try on” different permutations of their site; exploring what doesn’t work is just as important as learning what does.

Critical to a successful website project is ensuring the process remains collaborative, interactive, and efficient. ProtoShare, as a cloud-based prototyping tool, allows clients to experience their prototype at a high-enough fidelity to draw real conclusions: “reviewer mode” allows clients (and test users) to initiate conversations about particular elements of the prototype, and the “multiple design” feature makes it easy to archive previous iterations. Ending where you started is just a click away.

In the end, this process gives our clients what they need to move ahead with confidence. And with a tool like ProtoShare, people like us can remain efficient (and calm!) as we circle the solution with our clients.


This guest post was provided by Sametz Blackstone Associates. Brandon C. Walsh is Principal / Director of Digital Strategy at Sametz Blackstone Associates, a Boston-based, brand-focused consultancy that integrates strategy, design, and digital media to help mission-driven organizations navigate change. He can be reached at brandon at

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