Starts from a dot

Everyone spoke of an information overload, but what there was in fact was a non-information overload.

Richard Saul Wurman

I‘ve found eagerness to solve design problems without open exploration usually leads to conclusions; Instead of the opportunity for more insightful questions. Incorporating prototyping into the design process allows me to explore ideas, elaborate requirements and refine functionality.

As much as I value skills and tools as terrific assets, it’s the underlying approach that has always been my compass to ensure productivity from design and development time.

01 Isolation

Simplicity is the shortest distance between two points.

Bruce Lee

I always like to set-up development platform using modularity, to keep things somewhat decoupled and flexible enough for composing. By instilling separation of features and assets they can be flexibly combined and made reusable.

Using incremental prototyping, I can then decompose the design into multiple stages that are delivered one at a time. This allows for iteration that could easily be shared, archived and referenced throughout development. Isolation in this manner lends for a clearer separation of concerns.

02 Integration

The game I play is a very interesting one. It’s imagination, in a tight straightjacket.

Richard Feynman

Integration is the time for me to focus on the flow of the journey and not just the steps. A powerful aspect of applying modular approaches to prototyping visualisation is the ability to create sophisticated graphics by composing smaller and simpler ones.

During this integration I’m continually guided by the scope and complexity of the data/content in order to determine the appropriate fidelity of the visualisation/prototype.

I normally use data driven prototypes to develop and integrate preliminary ideas, and rapid prototyping to explore and test design functionalities and performance. When design requirements are volatile or in early exploration I’ll apply evolutionary prototyping.

03 Improvisation

Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.

Bruce Lee

Improvising with the prototype(s) is what I see as the pinnacle of prototyping. It only presents itself when emerged in the creative space of exploring design alternatives, opposed to being stuck in tunnel vision of focusing on tuning existing specifications.

Improvising with how the interface displays the data, allows the opportunity to test the feasibility and usability of our designs. It also leads to unexpected discoveries and innovations that may or may not take our project beyond its initial scope. It is the understated part of prototyping.

04 Review

A prototype is a representative model or simulation of the final system. Unlike requirements documents and wireframes, prototypes go further than show and tell and actually let you experience the design.

Todd Zaki Warfel

Review is a constant process and with all design, to solve a problem is to create new problems; new knowledge immediately reveals further issues/opportunities. These can be approached with fail fast approach and rapid prototyping. They should always lead to more refined and robust solution.

At this point I move between 01 – 03 freely.