Following Strategy First as a North Star in Prototype Designs

What are Prototype Designs?

A brilliant strategic design tool, prototypes allow designers and stakeholders to manifest a defined organizational strategy within a physical space, with every aspect of consumer experience considered. Prototype designs are a crucial step in the design process because they allow us to put our design concepts to the test, using gathered data and performance projections to predict the outcomes of many design choices.

But prototype designs are by no means the first step in the design process. In fact, their usefulness depends upon how thorough an organization’s market research and strategic planning have been. The strategy and design experts at NewGround understand what data is needed to carefully consider each design choice and determine what the impact will be on the performance of your site. Strategy should serve as a North Star to guide prototype designs.

US Eagle Federal Credit Union

Data and Strategy: The Prerequisites of Prototype Design

Retail market research can help the purveyors of retail spaces understand vital metrics such as, “sales per square foot.” Tracked over a long enough period of time, well-documented performance data can help designers forecast the results of design choices and changes. For a traditional retail store or branch, this research allows for optimized floor plans, taking consumer experience and sales performance into account.

Banks and financial institutions create different kinds of experiences. You rarely leave a branch with a shopping bag full of goodies, but the transactions that take place there are uniquely important to consumers: signing a mortgage, taking out a business loan, or combining assets with a spouse are all major events in their lives, and their experience will determine whether or not they trust you with more transactions in the future. 

Taking performance data into account, your organization must lead the design process with strategy. First, define who you are as an institution. Do you have clear answers to the following questions?

  • Who are you?
  • Who do you want to serve?
  • What do you want to sell?

US Eagle Federal Credit Union

Develop a strategy based on your carefully considered answers, and communicate it across the entire organization. Identify and reconcile strategic inconsistencies that may exist within your institution. Speak to staff at every level to find out how consistently your strategies are carried out, and what areas for improvement there may be.

Allow your design priorities to flow from your business strategy and market research conclusions. Consider demographic trends, market share position, and the short-term and long-term impacts of prevailing economic developments. You can conduct surveys to better understand your consumer base, their lifestyle components, technology preferences, and the services that are most important to them.

An Ideal Partner for Prototype Design Preparation and Execution

Prototyping involves a lot more than just moving around elements within a physical space. Carefully considered strategic priorities and market research can illuminate this process, showing you how your design choices will impact performance and customer experience for better or worse. 

NewGround empowers clients to lay the groundwork for productive, predictive prototyping. From imagination to execution, your design priorities are front and center. We can help you produce the strategy and market research necessary for effective prototyping. 

If you want to learn more about our strategic prototype design process, and how we help our clients make decisions with clarity, contact us today at

US Eagle Federal Credit Union

More Insights

Sustainability by Design: Crafting Retail Spaces that Speak to Environmental Values

Learn More

Crafting Experiential Retail Spaces for Meaningful Connections

Learn More

What is the Right Approach to Remote Work for Your Financial Institution?

Learn More