Abstract

While many design studies have used prototypes as test-instruments to validate the success or failure of design outcomes, however, only a few have touched upon the role of prototypes as learning agents for a designer during the design process. Prototypes, according to these, are considered more than mere evaluation tools; they are the means by which designers organically and evolutionarily learn, discover, generate, refine and communicate their design ideas. This study attempts to enumerate such roles of prototypes during a progressive prototyping approach followed for the design of spatial-based Number Sense tools for children. Due to a dearth of prior existence of similar learning tools, the designer had followed the approach of research through design with constant user feedback, during which the prototypes played a pivotal role in shaping her thought process and the study outcomes. The designed prototypes in the study, while acting as a tool for reifying designer’s ideas also served like a provocative probe for the user group; where children’s reactions to these probes stimulated ideas to the designer during the progressive design stages. The paper elucidates how the prototypes have progressively evolved during the design process taking into consideration the user feedbacks, field observations, and the designer’s thought process.

Keywords:

Prototypes, Research through design, Number Sense, Spatial Sense, Learning

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

Progressive prototyping for the design of Spatial-Number Sense tools

While many design studies have used prototypes as test-instruments to validate the success or failure of design outcomes, however, only a few have touched upon the role of prototypes as learning agents for a designer during the design process. Prototypes, according to these, are considered more than mere evaluation tools; they are the means by which designers organically and evolutionarily learn, discover, generate, refine and communicate their design ideas. This study attempts to enumerate such roles of prototypes during a progressive prototyping approach followed for the design of spatial-based Number Sense tools for children. Due to a dearth of prior existence of similar learning tools, the designer had followed the approach of research through design with constant user feedback, during which the prototypes played a pivotal role in shaping her thought process and the study outcomes. The designed prototypes in the study, while acting as a tool for reifying designer’s ideas also served like a provocative probe for the user group; where children’s reactions to these probes stimulated ideas to the designer during the progressive design stages. The paper elucidates how the prototypes have progressively evolved during the design process taking into consideration the user feedbacks, field observations, and the designer’s thought process.

 

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