To help designers decide on the look or functionality of an idea without worrying about the complete final product.
Highly variable depending on prototype
Small Project Groups 2-5
WHAT is Looks like/Works like?
A common strategy in product development is to create separate
models that look
like the final product (with little to no
intended functionality) and that work
like the final product
(bearing little-to-no resemblance to the intended final product). This
way, you can separate (modularize, if you will) your efforts into
discrete categories. This is a specific method of decomposition.
WHY teach Looks like/Works like?
Separating a prototype's look and function can free you to be
more creative in your exploration. When you're not concerned with
feasibility, you can push yourself further. When you've gotten to your
ideal looks like and works like models, bridging the two becomes the
challenge -- but this process is far more streamlined than trying to
make everything fit together right from the start. Decomposing the
problem into smaller chunks makes it more manageable.
HOW to teach Looks like/Works like?
Probably best illustrated by examples:
The works like model looks pretty much nothing like the automatic noodle
cooker the designer will ultimately create... but it does indeed
illustrate proof of concept. Likewise, the looks like model has no
function at all - certainly not as a sinus surgery tool - other than
telling the surgeon what the approximate form factor will be and how it
will feel to hold it.
Prototyping materials (see Physical Prototype
Each student group should have an idea or ideas they want to prototypeCreate 2 prototypes (20 min)
Each group creates a "looks like" prototype and an "works like" prototype for their ideaSharing Ideas (15 min)
Groups present their idea to 3 different groups in the following order:
Group 1: Present just "looks like" prototyped.brief (10 min)
Group 2: Present Just "works like" prototype
Group 3: Present both "looks like" and "works like" prototypes
Ask students a combination of the following questions to assess understanding of the concept
- What did you learn from building each kind of prototype?
- What did you learn from presenting each kind of prototype separately?
- What did you learn from presenting the prototypes together?
- Which one was more helpful? Why?
- When do you think a "looks like" prototype would be more useful?
- When do you think a "works like" prototype would be more useful?
- What is the point of separating the two?
original text: Carly Geehr
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