"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