Thursday is the day to create a realistic prototype.

So you’ve got great solutions, but only two days left on your schedule. At this point, instead of actually building your idea, you should fake it; the intention of your sprint is to collect reactions and you only need a prototype that seems real enough.

After all, there’s no way you’ll have the time to finish a market-ready prototype – but a low-quality prototype is no good either, since people won’t believe that it’s real. So, put yourself into a prototype mindset where you accept that anything can be prototyped as long as it has a sufficiently believable facade.

For instance, to attract new customers, Slack needed their website to offer a demo of their messaging app. This required a program with some degree of artificial intelligence that would automatically begin a dialogue with potential users, giving them a first taste of the app.

So, when it came to testing day, the team pretended to be the artificial intelligence. In other words, when people browsed Slack’s website, the team members would answer via instant message as if they were the computer program.

It just goes to show that making this illusion believable is possible with simple tools. In fact, if you’re working on an app, a piece of software or a new website, a simple set of slides on Powerpoint or Keynote are probably sufficient, because in full-screen mode they can look like the real thing and even be responsive to a degree. This presentation should be enough to showcase the prototype of the interface and gather people’s impressions.

For instance, in the case of Fitstar, a company that designed an innovative fitness app, the sprint was too short to reprogram their application. So, they just faked it through Keynote, using a template that displayed buttons as if it were the actual app. In full-screen mode this simple presentation was convincing enough to get the precious feedback they needed from the sports enthusiasts who tested the prototype.

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