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Interactive Prototyping of Interactions : from Throwaway Prototypes to Takeaway Prototyping

Abstract : Prototyping is essential in any design process. During the early stages, designers rely on rapid prototyping to explore ideas. Current rapid prototyping tools and techniques focus on paper representations and their disposability. However, while these throwaway prototypes are quick to create they are difficult to iterate over. I argue that rapid prototyping tools can effectively support reusable as well as throwaway artifacts for sketching interaction in early-stage design. First, I investigate tools in the context of video prototyping. Designers experience two main barriers to use video in interaction design: the time to capture and edit the video artifacts. To aid during the capturing-phase of video prototyping I created VideoClipper. This tool embodies an integrated iterative design method that rewards discipline but permits flexibility for video prototyping. The tool provides a storyboard-style overview to organize multiple videos in story Lines. VideoClipper offers editable and reusable TitleCards, video capture for steady-state and rough stop-motion filming and the ability to recombine videos in new ways for redesign. I present informal user studies with interaction design students using VideoClipper in three design courses. Results suggest that participants spend less time capturing and editing in VideoClipper than with other video tools. However, many designers find tedious to create stop-motion videos for continuous interactions and to re-shoot clips as the design evolves. Participants continuously try to reduce re-shooting by reusing backgrounds or mixing different levels of fidelity. Inspired by this behavior, I created Montage, a prototyping tool for video prototyping that lets designers progressively augment paper prototypes with digital sketches, facilitating the creation, reuse and exploration of dynamic interactions. Montage uses chroma keying to decouple the prototyped interface from its context of use, letting designers reuse or change them independently. I describe how Montage enhances video prototyping by combining video with digital animated sketches, encourages the exploration of different contexts of use, and supports prototyping of different interaction styles. Second, I investigate how early designs start being implemented into interactive prototypes. Professional designers and developers often struggle when transitioning from the illustration of the design to the actual implementation of the system. In collaboration with Nolwenn Maudet, I conducted three studies that focused on the design and implementation of custom interactions to understand the mismatches between designers' and developers' processes, tools and representations. We find that current practices induce unnecessary rework and cause discrepancies between design and implementation and we identify three recurring types of breakdowns: omitting critical details, ignoring edge cases, and disregarding technical limitations. I propose four design principles to create tools that mitigate these problems: Provide multiple viewpoints, maintain a single source of truth, reveal the invisible and support design by enaction. We apply these principles to create Enact, an interactive live environment for prototyping touch-based interactions. We introduce two studies to assess Enact and to compare designer-developer collaboration with Enact versus current tools. Results suggest that Enact helps participants detect more edge cases, increases designers' participation and provides new opportunities for co-creation. These three prototyping tools rely on the same underlying theoretical principles: reification, polymorphism, reuse, and information substrates. Also, the presented tools outline a new prototyping approach that I call "Takeaway Prototyping". In contrast to throwaway prototypes, instead of emphasizing disposability, tools for "Takeaway Prototyping" support design by enaction and reify design artifacts to materialize the lessons learned.
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Germán Leiva. Interactive Prototyping of Interactions : from Throwaway Prototypes to Takeaway Prototyping. Human-Computer Interaction [cs.HC]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS551⟩. ⟨tel-02122823⟩

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