Design the Future
January 19–20, 2016: Training
January 20–22, 2016: Conference
San Francisco, CA

Prototyping for physical and digital products

Kathryn McElroy (IBM Watson)
2:05pm Thursday, 01/21/2016
The new fundamentals
Location: Southside Theater
Average rating: ***..
(3.89, 18 ratings)

The Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable technology areas are exploding with ideas, but many of these ideas fail before they ever reach the manufacturing stage. The best way to develop new, viable, and impactful product ideas is by prototyping and user testing them. Prototyping is now a necessary skill in all areas of design, but especially for startups and individuals that make physical and digital products.

Kathryn McElroy explores current approaches to prototyping for both physical electronics-based products and digital software and apps. You’ll get an overview of many different types of prototyping and how to apply them in specific situations, learn the best ways to prototype fast and dirty, and explore how to test prototypes with users to gain insights to improve your product.

Kathryn will also share her personal experience applying these approaches to one of her wearable projects that includes both physical and digital prototyping. She will show off many of the physical prototypes on stage, and you will have the chance to see them up close after that talk is over. By the end of this talk, you’ll be empowered to prototype an existing or new idea and have the tools you need to build successful, impactful products.

Photo of Kathryn McElroy

Kathryn McElroy

IBM Watson

Kathryn McElroy is an advisory designer for the IBM Mobile Innovation Lab in Austin, Texas. Kathryn is an award-winning designer and photographer and is passionate about near-future technology and building electronics and smart objects. She has published tutorials of her projects in Make magazine and Fast Company and is currently writing a book, Prototyping for Designers, for O’Reilly. Kathryn regularly speaks about design thinking, prototyping, and user experience design. In her spare time, she volunteers to get girls involved in STEM fields by speaking at schools and after-school events and on career panels.