Things we’re kicking around: prototyping a digital experience with analog tools

Kicker is helping a big player in Silicon Valley design an intuitive wearable device. We envisioned a solution that everyone loved in theory, but no one could imagine how it would work in practice. We needed something the team could hold in their hands and use in order to make decisions about the form and user interface. Clearly, we needed a prototype, but because of the complex form factor and the configuration of the screen, we weren’t able to do it digitally. Instead, we turned to analog.

The concept involved seamlessly sliding between content views over the surface of the device, so Kicker played with two different colors of marker then overlayed the ink with films of the same color, which act as filters, to prototype the way the screens on the device needed to change. By applying the film-meets-ink idea to form studies, and simulating physically manipulating the surface, we were immediately able understand how the concept could become reality.

A red pen, a blue pen, matching film and some white paper.


Blue and red writing before film overlays.


Blue and red film overlaying text.

The blue film negates the blue ink, while the red film negates the blue.