Reading Commentary Week #2: What do Prototypes Prototype?

This has also been an interesting read because it’s been educational for me (someone who comes from print).  I learned a few terminologies along the way which I shall be using going forward.

What do Prototypes Prototype?  Well, what from I gather, I found it to be the following: feedback, guidelines and constraints and also serves as a base/foundation for a design idea.  It helps to figure out design issues, where they’ve broken it down in three cases: role,  experience and implementation (there were other triangles with internal parts, but this one spoke to me more).  To which maps out a best way to come up with awell-designed artifact.

This portion was particularly educational for me.  I wasn’t aware of the triangle model (or any for that matter) and what each corner represented.   The first point would be the role.  What  would the function of this design artifact do or its impact in someone’s life?  Second would be the look & feel.  What is the experience in a sensory manner?  The third would be implementation.  What are the the techniques and components, as in how would it work?  I had highlighted this as a tip and guideline for me when I’m about to present a design idea.  This would help me a lot because up until now, I haven’t really had any opportunity to design anything else beyond print.

It also mentions that it’s hard for for designers to communicate clearly when it comes to prototypes because of what it may involve.  Because some prototypes aren’t what they seem, a lot of them can be deceiving, which then can alter a precise feedback.  Some prototypes are more complex than others and would probably need a more “high-resolution”  type of a prototype to get an accurate feednack.  This part was particularly interesting to me because it wrote down details as to how to figure out what prototype would be appropriate.  This is actually another good tip for me.  It cuts down on the assumption that people will know what you’re talking about.  The techniques used were also fascinating, i.e. the benefits of role playing, storyboarding and high resolution prototypes must be used for certain contributing groups, because they may not understand right away, etc.

All in all, I think I learned a lot from the this article.  It opened my eyes and mind to how prototypes are important and how sensitive I should be when I attempt to design a product.

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