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HCD step 4 – Prototype


Various prototypes were developed for different types of media and communication outputs. Prototypes were used to gauge audience preferences – for example, different visual and language approaches, variations in format and navigation, and different brand names and logos.


Prototypes developed under the Shaping Demand and Practices (SDP) project in Bihar ranged from the high-tech (fully functional digital prototypes of everything from interactive voice response, or IVR, services to smartphone games and tablet applications) to low-tech (mood boards for identifying preferences for visual approaches, paper-based prototypes, and ‘narramatics’ for testing audio-visual outputs).


The process often started by rapidly creating less expensive prototypes (for example, out of paper) and then, as the testing process progressed, graduating to fully functional prototypes.


Redesigning a toolkit for frontline health workers, to encourage vaccination

Ensuring that all children are fully immunised continues to be a challenge in Bihar. Fear of the side effects of vaccination is one of the primary reasons for this.

BBC Media Action initially created a set of two prototypes for health workers to use to encourage vaccination.

  • a “weighing scale” to demonstrate the “trade-off” between minor side effects versus life-threatening diseases and
  • a “safety net” wheel to demonstrate that missing even a single dose can expose a child to life threatening diseases

Pre-test results revealed that the trade-off between a minor fever and a more dangerous disease presented by the weighing scale was not clear to the target audience. Instead, the two ends of the spectrum were comprehended as one continuum by the audience.

This feedback led to the “weighing scale” prototype not being developed further and changes to the “safety net” wheel to:

  • highlight that minor side effects are not dangerous and
  • highlight the importance of compliance with a full vaccination schedule.