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Sketching And Prototyping: The Centrifugal And The Centripetal Power

2904 words - 12 pages

In this essay, I shall explore how sketching and prototyping can help in designing an interactive system intended to encourage people to take a walk. In the design process is important to get the design right, and then get the right design (Buxton, 2007). While sketching help in aid to getting the design right, supporting the creative design process and exploring different ideas, prototyping supports choosing the right design, by testing how the product will look like, behave like, and work like (Buchenau & Suri, 2000). Sketching can be compared to a centrifugal power that radiates from the design problem, which allows exploring solutions to be explored. Whereas, prototyping is the centripetal force, moving back to the main problem with a final solution. (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Sketching - the centrifugal power. Prototyping - the centripetal power.
There is still confusion about the meaning of sketching and prototyping in the field. In this paperhere, I refer to sketching as the activity of exploring different ideas, and to prototypinge as the activity that aims to test technical feasibility, regardless regardless of the technology used to implement these design tools. Sketching is used at the beginning of the design process, whereas prototyping is more likely to be used toward the end of the design process.
Sketching and prototyping are the most flexible tools that can support iterative development. They were traditionally used in graphic and product design fields but are now widely used in human-computer interaction (HCI). In the HCI field, there is a tendency to deal with design problems as tame problems that require a logical to be approached with logic. Neverthelessapproach. Nevertheless, many studies have argued that HCI problems are wicked problems that are characterised by complex interdependencies (Conklin, 2006; Rittel & Webber, 1984; Wolf, Rode, Sussman, & Kellogg, 2006). These wWicked problems need to be approached with creative design tools, such as sketching and prototyping.
This essay is structured in the following way: I start will begin by defining the design problem; then I willshall illustrate sketching and prototyping techniques, what they are, how they can be used to support the design of an interactive system, and their weakness and strengths. The conclusion will highlights how sketching is still an irreplaceable tool for designers, while prototyping helps in simulating reach experiences and technical feasibility. Before proceeding, it is important to define the term designer: Designer is anyone who create sketching or prototyping in order to design, regardless of their job.
Designing an interactive system to encourage people to walk requires defining the problem the system is trying to solve or improve. There are different approaches that can be taken. to define the problem. One analytical approach is to outline the system requirements that need to be fulfilled. In the same line Newman (1995) argues that the...

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