App Prototyping

with Erin Parker

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Learn how to make most use of your creativity.

Erin Parker

Founder, Spitfire Athlete; iOS Engineer; National-Level Weightlifter

Lessons Learned

Create a mind map when brainstorming.

Brainstorm before your prototype.


Lesson: App Prototyping with Erin Parker

Step #4 Brainstorming: Learn how to make most use of your creativity

Brainstorming is great for figuring out where to take your product or your company next. My friend and I actually brainstorm by going to a coffee shop, grabbing a piece of paper and we create mind-maps, so in the center you write down what you're brainstorming.

So, for example, "What features do we need to build next?" and then from each you draw an extension and you write your next thought and then from each thought you draw another line and write your next thought. This fluid way of thinking allows you to just let your thoughts come randomly, but to see where they're connected to each other in one mind-map. Then we take that paper, talk to each other about what is more important and then we line that up into a list of things to do. Then we start testing them one by one, and doing them next.

Usually the brainstorming phase is much, much earlier. In this phase you're asking yourself, who are my users? Where are they? What do they do? How will they find my product? Why do they need my product? You're brainstorming basically your business model canvas, and all your hypotheses. Then the prototyping is really an extension of testing a specific vertical of that hypothesis, probably related to product. So, "Okay, we're going to test the need for this feature or we're going to test the need for this version of our application." Then you're trying to prototype that vertical of your application, with a specific type of user and then seeing if it actually makes sense for that user.

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