Micro Challenge #9 – Designing a prototype

24 April 2020 - 3 minute read

Welcome to the ninth of Altitude Foundation’s #MicroChallenges2020

Today we design a prototype for our solutions to challenge #7 or challenge #8!

What’s a Micro Challenge?

These challenges are short activities to help you develop, revise or refresh your coding skills, posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Micro Challenge #8

This week, our focus is on problem solving. This may not seem immediately linked to coding; however, problem solving is a key part of a programmer’s role. They need to be able to break problems into smaller problems (sometimes called decomposition). They can then identify the best place to implement a solution to tackle the overall problem – or, potentially, the best places!

Prototype Planning

Have a look at this week’s previous challenges (challenge #7 or challenge #8). Today’s challenge is to think about who might use your solution and how they might access it – and then, sketch a prototype.

  • In order to think about who might use your solution consider:
    • Who does this problem affect? What age might they be, where might they live, what concerns might they have? (Hint: if you made the solution for yourself- would other people your age benefit from it too?)
    • What are they looking to gain – in our original example, it was being able to get to school on time, so they are looking to gain a way of ensuring that the unreliability of the bus won’t ruin their attendance. 
  • Once you have answered those questions, think about:
    • What is important to them: i.e. is it important that the solution is fast? Or easy to access? Or that it looks cool? Your answers will depend on both the problem you are trying to solve and the user you imagine for your product.
  • If you want to stretch yourself, consider whether you could create an empathy map for your user.
  • Now: you can either create an advert for your product or take the advanced option and create a paper prototype

Review it

Once you’ve completed the challenge, review it:

  • Has doing this exercise changed the way you understand the problem you are solving?
  • How might thinking about the end user and how they use the product affect decisions made in programming the solution?


Share it

We would love to see what you have created! Please send any pictures, videos, or files of your activities to us – either via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram  using #MicroChallenges2020 or to challenges@altitudefoundation.org. If you are emailing them to us, please let us know if you are happy for us to share your stuff on our social media platforms (with credit, of course).

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