Sunday, April 08, 2012

Prototyping a Backyard Garden

Prototyping works not only for products at work, but also for the things you do in your life. For example, rather than convey your landscape design ideas to your gardener in words and diagrams you can easily convey them via simple prototypes. The best value you get out of prototyping a garden design is that you can visualize what the garden might look like a few months or even a few years from the day you plant the seeds.

Here is a rendering of the backyard garden I did recently to visualize how a garden might look a few years from now. It helped me identify the look I want and convey it to the landscaping contractor who does the planting. You do not need any special software. Microsoft Paint or similar software will do.

It was a bit like a prototyping a product at work. You start with a rough hypothesis and make something. While you make it, you understand the product better, learn new things and get new ideas. Because your ideas have a tangible form, others can give meaningful feedback and the idea gets better. Your chances of success increases significantly. So Prototype your idea. Make something.

The bare backyard.
By the way, when the plants grow, they are probably not going to look anything like the picture below. I realize that. But the prototype was a very useful idea generation, conversation and communication artifact. The chances of we getting a garden of our dreams went up significantly.

The idea for a part sun garden
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