J-Design: Prototype Readings

What do prototypes prototype

Stephanie Houde and Charles Hill

One of the biggest take aways for me from this reading was the idea that no single type of prototype is ideal for every situation. There are a variety of methods of prototyping, and some are better than others depending on the circumstance. The function of a prototype is also highly dependent on what it does, how it is made, and what it is used for. This is what determines its functionality or purpose. There are three important elements to a prototype, and one that takes all three into account. These are role, look and feel, and implementation. Integration is when all three are regarded as equally important. These type of prototypes are built to demonstrate the complete user experience of an artifact. However, depending on what is being prototyped, who is prototyping, and who the prototype is for, the final result might focus more on addressing one or two of the mentioned elements instead of all three equally.

Paper Prototyping

Shawn Medero

In this reading, Medero discusses the wide variety of advantages of paper prototyping. Among these is the ability to communicate an idea quickly and easily to others. Paper prototyping also has a very inclusive quality, which allows anyone to participate in the design process despite their background. Besides being easy, quick, and approachable, it is also cost and time efficient. Paper prototyping is a great way to get easy feedback from users, and quickly identify potential mistakes or disadvantages of the design without needing to back-track on hours of coding, or other more involved methods of prototyping. This is done through usability testing with paper prototypes.

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