"Research through design focuses on the role of the product prototype as an instrument of design knowledge enquiry. The prototype can evolve in degrees of granularity, from interactive mockups to fully functional prototypes, as a means to formulate, develop and validate design knowledge. The designer-researcher can begin to explore complex product interaction issues in a realistic user context and reflect back on the design process and decisions made based on actual user-interaction with the test prototype. Observations of how the prototype was experienced may be used to guide research through design as an iterative process, helping to evolve the product prototype."
(David V. Keyson Miguel Bruns Alonso)
David V. Keyson Miguel Bruns Alonso (2009. "Empirical Research Through Design". International Association of Societies of Design Research
"1) First and foremost, a high-fidelity prototype gives you something realistic enough to try out your ideas with target users and customers before making a significant investment. This lets you discover which ideas are good and which are not, and if the product has real value, and also discover if users can figure out how to use the product.
2) Doing a high-fidelity prototype helps you - even forces you - to think through your product to a much greater degree than paper specs.
3) A high-fidelity prototype enables and encourages the type of collaboration between product manager, interaction designer, and architect/engineer that is necessary to discover a valuable, useful and feasible product.
4) A high-fidelity prototype provides the level of information necessary for accurate engineering cost estimates, early in the process when these estimates are most useful.
5) A high-fidelity prototype provides the engineers and QA organization with a rich, interactive description of the product's intended functionality and design to be used as a reference basis for implementation and test.
6) A high-fidelity prototype provides the rest of the organization - marketing, sales, customer service, business development, company execs - with a useful understanding of the product to come early enough in the process that they have time to do their jobs properly.
7) A high-fidelity prototype prevents the classic waterfall problem of doing design after the requirements, rather than realizing that functionality and user experience are inherently intertwined.
8) If you do a high-fidelity prototype and you test your ideas with users and you find significant problems, you will have saved your company the cost in terms of time and money of building something that would have failed. Not to mention the opportunity cost of what the team could have been building.
9) If you do a high-fidelity prototype and validate this with target users, you will significantly reduce the time it takes for your developers to build the product both because the product is better defined, and also because you will have been forced to resolve many of the questions early that otherwise throw a wrench into development.
10) A high-fidelity prototype helps keep the focus of the team on the user experience."
(Marty Cagan, 29 April 2008)
"As you've most likely figured out, the WVIL camera is not a real product, but a Concept Camera envisioned by Artefact's award-winning design team. It answers the question: 'what's next for camera design?'
The patent-pending WVIL system takes the connectivity and application platform capabilities of today's smart phones and wirelessly connects them with interchangeable full SLR-quality optics. It is the inevitable solution for photographers who expect the power of modern mobile devices but who also demand uncompromised quality."
(Artefact Group, 2010)