[Tool] The Universally-Usable Prototype (UUP)

Innovation teams are the only ones who can design their solutions in a way that stakeholders will understand. Do so!

[Tool] The Universally-Usable Prototype (UUP)


All your work is useless if your partners, bosses, and operational teams who will take over your work once it's de-risked do not understand your work.

Fail to get them really to understand, and they will either refuse to accept your output or do so badly.

The UUP is a discussion guide to help you consider how you can help them to understand and accept your outputs.

I purposefully call it a discussion guide, not a canvas. It’s not about filling this out and then being “done,” besides occasional updates. You might not even use this format.

Instead, it’s about considering and discussing as a team: what would it take for everyone with whine we work truly to get what we are doing here? And how might we achieve that?

The inputs to achieving good “usability” that I have found so far include:

  • Tailoring to your partners’, receiving teams’, and bosses’ needs, the narratives they favor, and their human nuances and quirks
  • Achieving two-way clarity between them and you, ideally via shared experience, but if not possible, then at least via concrete samples of work, and consciously-discussed solutions to common misunderstanding between them and you.