The state of prototyping practice in the industrial setting: Potential, challenges and implications

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Diefenbach, Sarah (1); Christoforakos, Lara (1); Maisch, Bettina (2); Kohler, Kirstin (3)
Series: ICED
Institution: Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
Section: Design methods and tools
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Prototyping as a central method within innovation- and product development processes has a high acceptance in industry. Various prototyping tools provide impressive visualizations of product ideas in early development stages and especially low fidelity prototyping methods seem easily applicable. However, a closer look at prototyping in practice reveals a number of misunderstandings and barriers regarding effective prototyping, often related to different stakeholders? (e.g., developer, designer, client) ideas about the purpose of prototyping. Based on a combination of literature analysis, adapting existing models and methods in user centered design (e.g., personas, double diamond design process) and empirical results from industrial research cooperation, we introduce a focus group format and a first model of prototyping maturity, which can help organizations to reflect on their state of practice in prototyping on an individual, team, and organizational level. The maturity model also forms a valuable theoretical lens for design research. Thus, our research aims at researchers in the field of prototyping as well as practitioners involved in prototyping and innovation processes.

Keywords: Design process, User centred design, Design practice, Prototyping, Innovation methods


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