The 3 types of prototyping and why you should use them all

A while ago I spoke to a designer who used to design television sets for Philips in the 1980s. He and his team would decide what new televisions would look like. In turn, I told him about how we would work together at the design agency I used to work for. I told him about the waterfall process, where an interaction designer would first create a fully functional wireframe. After the client had signed it off, a visual designer would add colour (and rounded corners) in a photo editing program. And when those pictures were signed off, a developer would turn them into something that worked in a browser.

My stories amazed him. To him, this sounded like the assembly line in a factory, where the different parts are turned into working televisions – after all the designing had been done. Waterfall, he explained, is not meant to be a design process. It's how production works.

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