THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR COMPREHENSIVE ABSTRACT PROTOTYPING METHODOLOGY
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Reich, Y.
Author: Horvath, Imre
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology
Though abstract prototyping offers quality improvement and costs reduction in all branches of product development, it has gained popularity only in the software sector of the creative industry. This paper proposes a theoretical platform and an activity workflow for abstract prototyping of artifact-service combinations. First, the concept of abstract prototypes and the evolution of abstract prototyping are discussed. Then, an underpinning theory and a content-independent workflow are presented. It is proposed that the information constructs instantiated in abstract prototypes should demonstrate the real life operation and interaction/use processes, including the description of the conceptualized artifact-service combination, the human actors, and the surrounding environment. The stakeholders’ needs should be taken into consideration not only in conceptualization of artifact-service combinations, but also at constructing the contents and demonstration of the abstract prototype. Narration and enactment are identified as two intertwined parts of demonstration. The follow up research focuses on testing the proposed methodology and its validation through complex industrial cases.