Reading Commentary for Week #2: Cardboard Computers, Mocking it up or Hands-On the Future

This piece was perhaps the most interesting article I’ve read so far.  I have truly enjoyed reading this, mainly because I could relate to a certain extent.

The whole idea of coming up with a good design based on preliminary mock-ups has always been useful and influential.  As a print designer, I’ve often been called upon to design packages.  The difference between designing visual communications (i.e. brochures, business cards, signage) vs packaging is the experience and functionality.  When I first started out designing packages, I had no idea that function was very important.  A package has to contain a thing safely and that thing has to be displayed for consumers properly and that consumer must have a good experience opening that package.

I had to design endless mock ups in order to test die-lines and performed a million drop test.  Mock ups became my key to understanding what works and what doesn’t.

In relation to this article, the mock up process is different for computer development or other graphic user interface from what I used to do.  That arena is more complex when it comes to mocking up technology and their functionalities.  It was interesting for me to read the limitations of “envisioning the system not providing the real functionality of the system”.  I simply had no idea.

But despite its limitations, when a designer is asked to provide a design solution for anything that involves function, one doesn’t have a choice but to mock things up first.  The mock up does help the designer “to evaluate a design to get ideas for modifications or maybe even radical new designs and to have a medium for collaborative changes.”  In a nutshell it’s important to start somewhere and perform numerous tests to determine a well-functioning and well- designed product.

True some mock up or prototypes can be expensive.  But it’s more expensive to fix issues after a flawed product reaches the public (i.e. numerous upgrades, recall, returns) which would become an eventual downfall.  Mock ups are an essential first step to developing and designing a functional product.


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