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Scott Plewes

Scott Plewes

Chief Strategy Officer

Is that a Prototype or a Prototype?

The same “technical” words can mean different things across disciplines, or even within disciplines, or just between different people. This insight is undoubtedly true in UX. Don’t assume when someone agrees with, for example, your idea of “let’s build a prototype” that they have the same notion of prototype in mind.

Some practical ways to avoid this terminology misalignment:

  • Be aware that this potential confusion is common when working with new people/organizations you have not worked with before.
  • Give an example of what you mean when you use the word, as well as examples of what you don’t mean, to provide clarity.
  • Develop a glossary of common UX terminology you use in your team. Please share it, but more practically, have it ready for reference since people don’t usually find reading entire glossaries particularly exciting.
  • If there is a disagreement, centre the discussion around the purpose and context of the idea or artifact. In the end, the word is just a tool to provide alignment on the concept. There’s usually little point in battling over whose definition is correct.

Scott Plewes

Scott Plewes

Chief Strategy Officer

Over the past twenty-five years, Scott has worked in the areas of business strategy, product design and development in the high tech sector with a specialization in experience design. He has extensive cross-sector expertise and experience working with clients in complex regulated industries such as aviation, telecom, health, and finance. His primary area of focus over the last several years has been in product and service strategy and the integration of multi-disciplinary teams and methods. Scott has a master’s degree in Theoretical Physics from Queen’s University.


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Akendi is a human experience design firm, leveraging equal parts experience research and creative design excellence. We provide strategic insights and analysis about customer and user behaviour and combine this knowledge with inspired design. The results enable organizations to improve effectiveness, engage users and provide remarkable customer experiences to their audiences.