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research-article

The Economies and Dimensionality of Design Prototyping: Value, Time, Cost and Fidelity (DETC2018-85747)

[+] Author and Article Information
Edward Tiong

Ring Theory Pte. Ltd., 6 Jalan Labu Manis, Singapore 537991, Singapore
edward@ringtheory.com

Olivia Seow

Ring Theory Pte. Ltd., 6 Jalan Labu Manis, Singapore 537991, Singapore
olivia@ringtheory.com

Bradley A Camburn

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, Singapore University of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Road, Singapore 487372, Singapore
bradley_camburn@sutd.edu.sg

Kenneth Teo

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, Singapore University of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Road, Singapore 487372, Singapore
kenneth_teo@sutd.edu.sg

Arlindo Silva

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, Singapore University of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Road, Singapore 487372, Singapore
arlindo_silva@sutd.edu.sg

Kristin Wood

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, Singapore University of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Road, Singapore 487372, Singapore
kristinwood@sutd.edu.sg

Dan Jensen

SUTD-MIT International Design Centre, Singapore University of Technology and Design, 8 Somapah Road, Singapore 487372, Singapore
ddjensen7771@gmail.com

Maria Yang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
mcyang@mit.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042337 History: Received June 30, 2018; Revised December 12, 2018

Abstract

Economic use of early stage prototyping is of paramount importance to companies engaged in the development of innovative products, services and systems because it directly impacts their bottom-line. There is likewise a need to understand the dimensions, and lenses that make up an economic profile of prototypes. Yet, there is little reliable understanding of how resources expended and views of dimensionality across prototyping translate into value. To help practitioners, designers, and researchers leverage prototyping most economically, we seek to understand the tradeoff between design information gained through prototyping and the resources expended prototyping. We investigate this topic by conducting an inductive study on industry projects across disciplines and knowledge domains while collecting and analyzing empirical data on their prototype creation and test processes. Our research explores ways of quantifying prototyping value and reinforcing the asymptotic relationship between value and fidelity. Most intriguingly, the research reveals insightful heuristics that practitioners can exploit to generate high value from low and high fidelity prototypes alike.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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