Rapid Development of Tangible Interactive Appliances: Achieving the Fidelity/Time Balance

Gill, Steve and Walker, Darren and Loudon, Gareth and Dix, Alan and Woolley, Alex and Ramduny-Ellis, Devina and Hare, Jo (2008) Rapid Development of Tangible Interactive Appliances: Achieving the Fidelity/Time Balance. International Journal of Arts and Technology, 1 (3-4). pp. 309-331. ISSN 1754-8853

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For some years now, the global academic and industry research communities have been working at developing techniques to rapidly design and develops information appliances such as mobile phones, MP3 players and digital cameras. Despite significant advances in the methods available for the prototyping of tangible interactive prototypes, many if not most industrial design practitioners and many UI designers still rely on two dimensional, software only interactive prototypes, particularly early in the design process when many key decisions are made. A number of attempts have been made to tackle this issue, and one of the core assumptions in many of the approaches so far taken is that designers need to be able to make “quick and dirty” prototypes in order to evaluate the tangible interactions of their concepts early in the design process. Some attempts have been made to examine how quick or how dirty the prototyping process can be for software only applications but to date no one has carried out a similar exercise for information appliance prototypes. This paper presents the results of three separate experiments and presents empirical data that suggest answers to two important questions: Are tangible prototypes better than software prototypes?” and “how "quick and dirty" should industrial designers be aiming to prototype?” The paper concludes by discussing the findings’ significance and suggesting the implications for further work.

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Journal Article
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International Journal of Arts and Technology
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13 Aug 2008 12:53
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2023 00:28