Design prototyping methods




Camburn, Bradley Adam

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Product development is often modeled as a cycle between phases of designing, building, and testing. This work will explore early stage build efforts of product design, which is also known as prototyping. Prototyping is a critical determinant of product success. Research shows that different approaches to prototyping can greatly affect design outcome. This work provides an integrated overview, and expansion of the existing work on design prototyping methods. Following the introduction, an extensive literature review of design prototyping tools, techniques, and methods is provided. These sources are indexed and comparatively reviewed. The capabilities of a novel hybrid prototyping technique is explored through a design case study. Next, insights from the review are integrated in a context independent prototyping strategy method. The method is developed with heuristics extracted from the literature, and additional insights from experimental studies. The technique is then experimentally evaluated. Finally, results of an extensive study of an online design repository are provided. The results include five key principles for prototype design and fabrication. The presence of these principles in the repository is validated through a novel crowd-sourced online study. The outcome effects of deploying these principles to design teams is experimentally evaluated. Overall, this research provides a guide to prototyping which includes a systematically indexed review and comparison of the existing work, as well as a novel method, and principles for design and fabrication.



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