Understanding How Prototyping Practices Affect Design Results
How do prototyping practices affect learning, motivation, communication, and outcome in design?
This research examines aspects of the creative process such iteration and comparison, two key strategies for discovering contextual design variables and their interrelationships. We found that, even under tight time constraints when the common intuition is to stop iterating and start refining, iterative prototyping helps designers learn. Our experiments also indicate that creating and receiving feedback on multiple prototypes in parallel – as opposed to serially – leads to more divergent ideation, more explicit comparison, less investment in a single concept, and better overall design performance. Most recently, we found that groups who produce and share multiple prototypes report a greater increase in rapport, exchange more verbal information, share more features, and overall, reach a better consensus.
What's our approach? We recruit people to participate in tasks where the solutions are creatively diverse and objectively measurable. We've had success using the egg drop design task where participants create a vessel to protect a raw egg. Most recently, our studies call on participants to create Web banner ads. We then place the ads in an online campaign, collect a host of analytics (e.g., click-through data), and statistically compare performance differences. The key insight enabling our research is that crowdsourcing techniques and web analytics provide an opportunity to do experimental research on creativity with objective outcomes.
Shepherding the Crowd Yields Better WorkSteven P. Dow, Anand Kulkarni, Scott R. Klemmer, Bjoern Hartmann. CSCW: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2012SLIDES Investigates how feedback affects crowdsourced work. A field experiment with the Shepherd system shows that self-assessment and external feedback help workers learn task criteria and produce better work.