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HCD Project (Case Study)

Documentation of a Human Centred Design Prototyping course.

In my on-going professional development efforts, I always look out for training that is relevant to the UX Skills Matrix that I’d like to either refresh, polish or develop.

As a follow on from the Introduction to Human-Centred Design course from 2021, I decided to join the Human-Centred Design 201: Prototyping course to refresh my knowledge.


To look at how we might improve health in everyday places (at work, home, school or in the community). It gave the opportunity to generate seed ideas to be developed into prototype(s) that can be tested and iterated on. The process involved working alongside team members utilising mini personas with rough journey mapping, and defining the research/ testing focus. Following that come up with different types of prototypes of various fidelity to test with real people. Using insights from testing feedback, the project team worked on iterating on the prototype(s).


  1. Ideation
  2. Mini Personas
  3. Journey Mapping
  4. Prototyping
  5. Testing
  6. Team debrief
  7. Iterating


This phase of the project involved looking broadly at the question of ‘How might we improve health in everyday places‘ and gather as many ideas for all the different areas (home, work, school, or in the community). Then identifying if these ideas are likely to come under a product, space or a service.

HCD 201_ Prototyping - JuneLIM Health and Wellness Ideas

Personas and Journey Mapping

This phase the team worked on specific idea(s), coming up with mini personas to map against a rough journey they might go through. At the same time defining the focus of what questions we would like to find answers to and come up with a suitable method to prototype and validate our ideas.

HCD 201_ Journey Map 1b
HCD 201_ Journey Map 1
HCD 201_ Journey Map 2
HCD 201_ Journey Map 2
HCD 201_ Journey Map 3
HCD 201_ Journey Map 3


During this compact 4 module course, project teams were tasked to carry out several quick prototypes within each project module.

Prototype 1: Class Act

Within module 1, our team looked at a prototype for a Dance Movement website designed to get primary school children active, engaged, included and proud to be part of their class dance crew.

Using a low fidelity prototype of static screens simulating the intended website, the team conducted two separate remote test sessions with children aged between 5-10. One in a group of 5 participants, the second with a single participant.

With a general discussion guide, each team member took turns to lead the facilitation of the testing session, with the second team member taking notes as the session took place.

Walking through each prototype screen, participants understood the concept of a work in progress website (prototype) well. We employed a speak aloud method to the sessions where the young participants told us what they think they can do on each screen, and where they would go to carry out certain tasks that they were thinking of.

Our young participants thought it was a great idea to have a Class Act dance movement that children can join in to get active and healthy. The participants gave wonderful insights as to what would engage children more, and what was available in their schools in terms of similar products/ services.

Working as a team, we found it benefit us as we would have one person facilitating the test session whilst the other would be taking notes and following up with further questions when required. We also noted the pros and cons of group and individual test participants. It was a fun experience and an eye opener especially for my team mate who is outside of the UX field.

Prototype 2: 100 Steps at Home

With the second module, our team looked at prototyping space to encourage busy people to start an easy daily exercise routine (100 Steps at Home) that they can increase over time.

HCD 201_ Prototyping_Moments in Journey To Test

This being a spatial / contextual prototype, we looked into the different elements that would make the prototype testing work smoother.

We investigated the people, the space, the timing, the service elements involved, and the tools that we would require to carry out testing.

We also came up with ideas on how to capture test findings seeing that the space we are using are remote spaces (participant’s own homes).

These are all quite challenging yet interesting to explore.

HCD 201_ Prototyping_Prototype sketch in context

With a plan in place, having also carried out some pre-flight tests ourselves, we then sketched out the intended space where testing would occur. This is to aid visualising and simulating what will happen during the testing itself, where the different elements of actors and props would go within the intended space. We also worked out what types of instructions will be required to accompany the testing process.

From this exercise, the team also came up with facts that would inform the content of props that are required in the test space.

Below are a couple of test artefacts that the team used with shaping the contextual/ spatial prototyping exercise. The first is a print out chart for participants to record their 100 steps over the course of a week. It is a physical item that participants can pin/ put up near their staircase as a visual reminder of their new exercise effort.

Prototype Artefact 1 - print out chart
Prototype Artefact 1 – print out chart

The second is a digital artefact in the form of an email that would go out to participants prior to their starting the 100 Steps at Home challenge. It included a summary of the challenge, how to do it, how to capture feedback for the team, and what they can do post test.

Prototype Artefact 2 - introduction email
Prototype Artefact 2 – introduction email

In Field Testing Feedback & Team Debrief

Testing feedback were captured on a MIRO board for team members to review and digest findings. We then worked together to come up with key insights from testing.

HCD 201_ Field Test Participant Feedback

Field Test Participant Feedback

The rich feedback from test participants consisted of:

  • Picture(s) of their staircase (the space)
  • Brief daily reports
  • How they used the chart/ if they used it/ managed to print it
  • Summary report on how they felt worked, didn’t work, suggestions and any lightbulb moments

As a summary, the team found that:

  • Not all staircases were built equal, some can be a health hazard
  • Stair/ step exercise might not motivate those that require more challenging exercises (e.g. small number of calories is not a great motivation)
  • Some participants found it boring to just walk stairs as it became monotonous quite quickly
  • Printing of the chart to record the exercise became a barrier to participating

Below the team took the findings and worked together during a debrief session resulting in key insights that would inform our iteration work.

HCD 201_ In the Field _ Key Insights

In the Field Testing – Key Insights

Iterating on Prototype

After reflecting on the key insights from testing sessions, we captured some takeaways to refine different elements that would make our prototype(s) work better, also the different elements to recruitment and facilitating test sessions:

HCD 201_ Reflections and Takeaways

  • Process / props to refine
  • Content to refine
  • Questions to answer
  • Participants for testing (e.g. groups of individual)
  • Facilitator & support facilitator to note take
  • Strengths and weaknesses of remote vs in person testing
  • Setting new criteria
  • Benefits of user centred testing

In the Field: Refining Prototype
In the Field Testing: Refining Prototype And Process

HCD 201_ Fine Tuning Prototype1

From the last module’s exercise, the team came together to refine the 2nd prototype of 100 Steps at Home.

We concluded that in order to be inclusive and provide the right motivation to a wider audience, there needs to be a variety of exercises.

As a result, the team has renamed it as 1 Minute Exercises. These exercises are basically a gateway to establishing a habit that builds motivation to exercise more. They would need to cater to a wide audience that require easy, intermediate or advanced challenges.

HCD Prototyping Project Team
HCD Prototyping Project Team

Drop me a message if you would like to find out more about this project or just to say hello.