Ideate, Prototype & Pitch In No Time Applying this 3-in-1 Method

Posted 6 months ago by Dan Nessler

NABC in action in a client workshop at Hinderling Volkart w/ Kevin Ben

How do you quickly and collaboratively come up and pitch ideas or potential solutions to a problem?

My former co-worker at Hinderling Volkart (Lukas Karrer) introduced me to a method I have found extremely effective, inclusive and fun to use in client workshops:

NABC: A 3-in-1 approach to ideating, prototyping and pitching.

NABC can also be applied in an educational context or in your in-house design process.

The NABC method

Ideate, prototype and pitch applying the NABC method. As far as I know, it’s been around for some time and originated in Stanford/SRI. NABC stands for:

How to apply NABC

Before you start

Have your HMW-question (link by IDEO.org) ready e.g. «How might we raise awareness for… bla bla bla…». In a group of ideally 3–8 people, conduct a brain-writing exercise (other methods may be applied).

Brain Writing Canvas inspired by https://strategyzer.comDownload link.

Apply NABC

Get your group to share and talk about your ideas. Evaluate, consolidate your ideas and pursue the best one. If you have multiple teams you may also swap the idea-papers between the teams. Apply NABC:

These steps can be done rapidly. We have applied the NABC method in quick 10 min sprints just to get first ideas. More time can be dedicated of course.

NABC Canvas inspired by https://strategyzer.comDownload Link.

Pitch

Last but not least, pitch your ideas following the NABC framework, show your prototype or get it even tested. Discuss, collect feedback, implement it and iterate.

Four NABC flip charts from a client workshop at Hinderling Volkart

Done.

Conclusion

The NABC (need, approach, benefit, competition) method is an amazing tool that guides you through almost the entire design process.

It is easy to apply and promises quick results. It forces you to think beyond the idea as it is grounded in the original problem and user needs. Last but not least, applying NABC returns first tangible outputs.

Depending on your need you may scale the method and combine it with other tools. Best of all, this NABC is inclusive, fun and anyone can participate.

This article was originally published on Dan’s Medium page.

After finishing a Digital Experience Design Master’s programme at Hyper Island, Dan is joining Swiss agency, Hinderling Volkart, as Experience Director UX. He teaches as a part-time lecturer and for almost ten years, has held positions in the digital field at agencies such as Jung von Matt/Limmat, Publicis and Scholz & Friends.

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