Chapter 11 continues to cover design, and introduces prototyping and the construction of prototypes. The chapter begins by explaining what a prototype is and why they are used. Later, prototypes are broken up into two different categories and explained. These include both low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes.
Low-fidelity prototypes are very basic. They are usually relatively cheap to create and take little time and effort to do some. Some examples of low-fidelity prototypes include storyboarding, sketching, prototyping with index cards, and the Wizard of Oz approach. Using these methods allows for further exploration in the initial stages of development. High-fidelity prototypes are generally more expensive, time consuming, and closer to the finished product. Because of this, they are typically created after low-fidelity prototypes have been created and used.
Some other types of prototypes include horizontal and vertical prototyping, evolutionary prototyping, and throwaway prototyping. Horizontal prototyping provides a variety of functions with little detail, whereas, vertical prototyping has a great deal of detail only for a few functions. Evolutionary prototyping involves taking a prototype and changing it until it eventually becomes the final product. Throwaway prototyping, as the name implies, involves throwing away prototypes and building the final product from the beginning.
The rest of the chapter deals with methods for implementing prototypes and ideas in order to achieve the final product. In doing this, requirements are implemented first, and then the design is created. Using interface metaphors is a popular methods that is used in order to help users relate the a new product. Determining the best interaction type for introducing a new system can be very valuable for research and development. Scenarios are also covered in order to capture either the most positive or negative aspects of a proposed design.
I greatly enjoyed reading this chapter because it focuses on the “hands-on” aspect of design, which I find to be most interesting. Learning about the different types of prototypes available and the applications that they are used in is fascinating to me. What I found to be most interesting was the difference between the high and low-fidelity prototypes. Before reading this chapter, I felt like it would be difficult in certain circumstances to determine how high or low a designer should go in various stages of development. I suppose it depends of the circumstances, but this chapter was able to answer a great deal of my questions are far as to when and why to prototype and what manner to go about when doing so.