1. Prototyping Overview
Philip van Allen, Media Design Practices, Art Center College of Design
2. Prototyping Overview Why Prototype?
Thinking through making
Divergent, not convergent thinking
Problem setting, not solving
test fitting a range of approaches, ideas, strategies, assumptions to
invent an interesting question/problem from a context
Discovering what you are interested in for this context
3. Prototyping Overview Why Prototype?
Take risks. Fail early and often.
“If you don't fail at least 90 percent of the time, you're not
aiming high enough.” -Alan Kay
You have to experience interaction & behavior
Instantiate ideas in the real world to see if they stick
Get bad/obvious ideas out of the way before you invest
time/money/commitment in production
4. Prototyping Overview Why Prototype?
A Form of Sketching
Explore a design space
One or more of, but not all of:
5. Prototyping Overview Why Prototype?
Demo a concept to
6. Prototyping Overview Why Prototype?
Develop the design
Find how it should work in real life
Thinking & designing through making
Identify and Prioritize most important features
7. Prototyping Overview Why Prototype?
Different from interviewing
Get more objective feedback - designer is biased!
How do people actually perceive it and use it?
Does it address needs?
Identify opportunities & problems
8. Prototyping Overview Why Prototype?
Howest School Perspective
Prototypes help designers and engineers balance between rationality and
intuition. A prototype can help you take a decision that involves ergonomics,
shape, function, production… at the same time. A decision that can’t be
described in parameters. A decision that can’t be simulated by a computer…
A prototype can help you manage the complexity of design. It provides you with
constant feedback for all you senses. It’s “real” Ready? Fire! Aim.
As designers know, a design process is not necessarily a sequential process.
Things can happen in parallel. Gathering information, detailing your “set of
demands”, generating concepts can happen in parallel
9. Prototyping Overview Kinds of Prototypes
Kinds of Prototypes
A wide range of approaches
Use what works for your goals
Low Fidelity <==> High Fidelity
Fast = low fidelity
Slow = high fidelity
10. Prototyping Overview Kinds of Prototypes
Drawing, Foam Core, Diagram, Photoshop, etc.
11. Prototyping Overview Kinds of Prototypes
Quick or Complicated
Sketchy or polished
Tells a story
Live action video + After Effects
Shows people, context, scenario, function, form
Demo impossible/costly technologies or situations
12. Sketch video - Christiane Holzheid & Julia Tsao - http://vimeo.com/3571717
13. Polished video - Sebastian Bettencourt - http://vimeo.com/12783337
14. Prototyping Overview Kinds of Prototypes
Doesn’t “work” but shows form
Rough or refined
How will object/system live in the world
Allows handling the thing directly
Story of Palm Pilot
15. Prototyping Overview Kinds of Prototypes
Refined - ACCD Trans - Leon Paz
Rough - Palm Pilot - Jeff Hawkins
16. Prototyping Overview Kinds of Prototypes
Schematic of information architecture
Shows relationships of content/navigation
17. Prototyping Overview Kinds of Prototypes
Simple demo of a use scenario
Schematic of interaction
Can be “wizard of oz-ed” where it seems to do more than it
18. Prototyping Overview Kinds of Prototypes
Interactive, not scripted
May be limited in features
Shows how actual use plays out
Form may not be accurate
Can be combined with Form model and/or video to tell full
19. Prototyping Overview Kinds of Prototypes
Douglas Engelbart - inventor of the first mouse - prototype built in 1963
20. Prototyping Overview Prototyping Tools
Can be used in combination
Use whatever gets the job done
Don’t be religious about them
New ones coming out all the time - it’s part of your job to
stay up-to-date on them