Paper Prototype

Get a sharpie and some paper and get drawing. Screen based apps can be sketched quickly and easily. Use multiple screen frames to indicate the journey through the digital experience from the main screen through onboarding and product use. You can use sticky notes to mock up buttons, sliders and other features of your screens. Walk through various interactions with users in order to gain insights in to natural use. With a member of the venture team, a user and human computer (this person switches screens to meet the commands input by the user) encourage the user to engage with the prototype as they would with a digital version of the app. If a user wants to move a button or slider, or make another change to the prototype, allow them to do so. Be sure to record the change, the reasoning behind it and how it alters interaction with the solution.  Paper prototypes should be used in a Usability Observation setting to get the most valuable and least influenced results.


Paper prototypes are ideal for the early stages of solution validation when teams are looking to test the use of solution ideas in a rough and scrappy way. Remember, paper prototypes should be adapted over and over and informed by user feedback.


Paper prototypes are intended to get user feedback quickly and without investing tons of upfront work. They are useful because they are changeable (think moving sticky notes around on a paper interface) and intended to be used, documented and thrown away. So don't get too attached!

Supplies & Resources

Paper, pens, markers, rulers, scissors, sticky notes and your ideas. If you're stuck try paper prototyping a screen or two of your favourite app or website to get the wheels turning.