Prototyping in Theory and in Practice: A Study of the Similarities and Differences between Engineers and Designers

12 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018

See all articles by Fei Yu

Fei Yu

University of Southern Denmark - Mads Clausen Institute for Product Innovation

Michele Pasinelli

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg

Alexander Brem

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - School of Business & Economics; Mads Clausen Institute

Date Written: June 2018

Abstract

Prototyping can be seen as the heart of the innovation process. Typically, engineers and designers both work on prototyping activities, but their diverse backgrounds make for different perspectives on prototyping. Based on earlier literature, this study investigates commonalities and differences in the prototyping behavior of engineers and designers. For this study, semi‐structured interviews and workshops with different experiments were conducted. Using low‐fidelity prototypes, our results indicated that there are differences in the early phase of prototyping. Engineers focused on the features and functions of a prototype and needed to meet specific goals in order to push the process forward. Designers, on the other hand, used prototypes to investigate the design space for new possibilities, and were more open to a variety of prototyping materials and tools, especially for low‐fidelity prototypes. In the later prototyping phases, the prototyping behaviors of engineers and designers became similar. Our study contributes to the understanding of prototyping purposes, activities, and processes across disciplines, and supports the management of prototyping in new product development processes.

Suggested Citation

Yu, Fei and Pasinelli, Michele and Brem, Alexander, Prototyping in Theory and in Practice: A Study of the Similarities and Differences between Engineers and Designers (June 2018). Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 27, Issue 2, pp. 121-132, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3173893 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/caim.12242

Fei Yu (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark - Mads Clausen Institute for Product Innovation ( email )

Alsion 2
Sønderborg, 6400
Denmark

Michele Pasinelli

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg

Schloßplatz 4
Erlangen, Bavaria 91054
Germany

Alexander Brem

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Nuremberg
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tm.rw.fau.eu

Mads Clausen Institute ( email )

Alsion 2
Sønderborg, 6400
Denmark
004565509246 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sdu.dk/mci

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
4
Abstract Views
72
PlumX Metrics