CSC 395 (Fall 2021)

Reading: Introduction to Prototyping

Introduction To Prototyping

In the observation and ideation phases, we built up a set of needs as gathered by our need-finding and idea-generation processes. In the next phase of the human-centered design process, we explore the dimensions of a particular design that addresses one or more of these needs by building prototypes. Prototypes are low-fidelity artifacts that allow you to answer questions you might have about a design space.

As computer scientists, we have a tendency to jump into implementation, typically reserving the word “prototype” for a “final” implementation that isn’t quite usable by real customers. In contrast, we want to be intentional about our prototypes, designing them to tactilely explore a set of decisions we can make about a system’s architecture. As a result, our prototypes only need to be complete enough to explore these questions and nothing more. Over the next few days, we’ll discuss strategies for developing such “low-fi” prototypes as well as designing with constraints and feedback in mind.