reading response for mon the 9th

The readings this week focused on defining the strengths and weaknesses of prototyping, mock-ups, and sketches. However the tone of each piece differed greatly with each author’s intention for the articles. “What do Prototypes Prototype?” gave a very comprehensive reference on the function of prototyping to a reader who might be approaching the terminology for the first time. “Cardboard Computers” focused on defining mockups and provided some historical context to the problems that prototyping sought to solve. “What Sketches (and Prototypes) Are and Are Not.” compares and contrasts prototypes with sketches from a functionality standpoint. However,¬†Buxton¬†directs his opinion seemingly towards teachers or practicing designers. Finally, “Experience Prototyping” illustrates the differences in prototyping when applying it to user experience design, a discipline that IDEO had a hand in redefining personally.

All and all, I found the differing opinions and approaches to be helpful at giving me a wider range of what prototyping can be. However, I would argue that these readings, particularly “What Sketches (and Prototypes) Are and Are Not”, might limit what designers can get out of prototyping as a tool. The assertion that I see as missing is that prototyping can also be used for initial ideation, similar to how we draw mind maps and mood boards to provoke ideas. Often I come up with ideas by just messing with the limitations of coding languages, such as testing how a certain physics simulation differs from reality. This freeform coding could lead to coming up with an interesting game mechanic (i.e. letting the player reverse gravity), where the prototype was the origin of the creative process and communicating the idea would take a secondary role. I can see an argument that this process is outside the definition of a prototype, but nonetheless, when the target audience of the articles are students and teachers, i find it relatively limiting.

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