Communications of the ACM. Jun84, Vol. 27 Issue 6, p556-563. 8p. 2 Diagrams, 6 Charts.
RAPID prototyping, PROTOTYPES, JOB analysis, INFORMATION resources management, SYSTEMS design, ORGANIZATIONAL change, and CORPORATE culture
This article assesses the effectiveness of the prototyping approach to information systems development. In this investigation of the effectiveness of the prototyping approach, user and designer attitudes are explored through field interviews and a laboratory experiment. The research findings concerning the impact of the prototyping approach on designers and users of information systems provide some insight into the effectiveness of the prototyping approach. A prototyping effort should be undertaken by designers and users who are well informed about the prototyping approach. Prototyping philosophy and plans should be understood by both designers and users. Prototyping is a new approach to information systems development, and like any organizational innovation, it needs a supportive organizational climate. Prerequisites to successful prototyping include technological tools that facilitate fast response to user requests and motivated and knowledgeable users and designers. In summary, the prototyping approach offers an opportunity to achieve favorable user attitudes toward the design process and the information system.
The article informs that rapid prototyping plays a critical role in the development of various consumer products. One might think that with today's high-end computer-aided design systems and high-resolution display screens, a product can be designed and assembled correctly in virtual space, then communicated to a factory and mass-produced at the touch of a button. Product development today always keeps the consumer in mind. In focus groups, ideation groups, and ethnography studies, the invited participants prefer to see and feel real products, not just look at computer-generated images. To refine the feel of a product, its ergonomic aspects must be evaluated, including the position and shape of handgrips, buttons, screens, dials, and ports. The overall development cycle is short. Creating a prototype--or rather a series of prototypes--is critical. Some markets change so quickly that toy makers in particular create two models--one that "works like" and one that "looks like"--before compressing all design considerations and iterations into a single footprint and launching into mass production in late summer.
Communications of the ACM. Jun2005, Vol. 48 Issue 6, p66-73. 8p. 14 Color Photographs.
RAPID prototyping, MATHEMATICS, PROTOTYPES, USER interfaces (Computer systems), VISUAL perception, and SCULPTURE
The article focuses on a 3D visualization tool that takes on sculpture and mathematical forms. Two decades ago, few sculptors used computers in the creative phases of their work. Most notable among them was Helaman Ferguson, an artist and mathematics professor at Brigham Young University, who has combined mathematics and sculpting for most of his life. His creativity and analytical skills came together in a custom-built, computer controlled carving tool that allows him to transfer shapes described by mathematical expressions with high precision into large-scale stone sculptures. The first program was Sculpture Generator I in 1996. Its geometry kernel consisted of about 5,000 lines of C code, the rendering module used OpenGL, and the user interface was built on Mosaic. The user could manipulate a dozen sliders to specify the topology and geometry of the object--the order of the saddles used, their number in the chain, the amount of twist and total bending being applied, and the width and thickness of the surface itself, as well as the detailed shape of the edges being formed.