ABSTRACT PROTOTYPING IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING: A REVIEW OF APPROACHES
DS 68-10: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 10: Design Methods and Tools pt. 2, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Abstract prototyping (AP) is a pre-implementation testing approach in software engineering, based on low-fidelity prototypes. It supports demonstration and evolution of software concepts at an early stage. It allows designers to optimize the operation of the software and allows end users to understand how to work with the system. In this paper we survey various ‘approaches’, i.e. both the way of developing the content of AP and the manner of using them in software engineering. We developed a reasoning model intuitively and defined research questions to structure our review and this paper. Our objective was to get insights in the existing definitions, information contents, construction processes and application opportunities for AP. We have found that AP is simultaneously a challenging scientific and a complex practical issue, which usually raises a large number of sub-issues and questions. In addition we observed that there are multiple interpretations of AP which are disturbing a clear picture. Based on the findings we observed that it is possible to generalize the key constituents of AP and to integrate them into a simplified and application-independent AP methodology.