11 October 2007

Software Engineering: Prototyping (Just the Quotes)

"The classical vertical arrangement for project management is characterized by an inherent self-sufficiency of operation. It has within its structure all the necessary specialized skills to provide complete engineering capabilities and it also has the ability to carry on its own laboratory investigations, preparation of drawings, and model or prototype manufacture. (Penton Publishing Company, Automation Vol 2, 1955)

"A mathematical model is any complete and consistent set of mathematical equations which are designed to correspond to some other entity, its prototype. The prototype may be a physical, biological, social, psychological or conceptual entity, perhaps even another mathematical model." (Rutherford Aris, "Mathematical Modelling", 1978)

"Economic principles underlie the overall structure of the software lifecycle, and its primary refinements of prototyping, incremental development, and advancemanship. The primary economic driver of the life-cycle structure is the significantly increasing cost of making a software change or fixing a software problem, as a function of the phase in which the change or fix is made." (Barry Boehm, "Software Engineering Economics", 1981)

"A problem with this 'waterfall' approach is that there will then be no user interface to test with real users until this last possible moment, since the "intermediate work products" do not explicitly separate out the user interface in a prototype with which users can interact. Experience also shows that it is not possible to involve the users in the design process by showing them abstract specifications documents, since they will not understand them nearly as well as concrete prototypes." (Jakob Nielsen, "Usability Engineering", 1993)

"One should not start full-scale implementation efforts based on early user interface designs. Instead, early usability evaluation can be based on prototypes of the final systems that can be developed much faster and much more cheaply, and which can thus be changed many times until a better understanding of the user interface design has been achieved." (Jakob Nielsen, "Usability Engineering", 1993)

"Scenarios are an especially cheap kind of prototype. […] Scenarios are the ultimate reduction of both the level of functionality and of the number of features: They can only simulate the user interface as long as a test user follows a previously planned path. […] Scenarios are the ultimate minimalist prototype in that they describe a single interaction session without any flexibility for the user. As such, they combine the limitations of both horizontal prototypes (users cannot interact with real data) and vertical prototypes (users cannot move freely through the system)." (Jakob Nielsen, "Usability Engineering", 1993)

"The entire idea behind prototyping is to cut down on the complexity of implementation by eliminating parts of the full system. Horizontal prototypes reduce the level of functionality and result in a user interface surface layer, while vertical prototypes reduce the number of features and implement the full functionality of those chosen (i.e., we get a part of the system to play with)." (Jakob Nielsen, "Usability Engineering", 1993)

"The entire idea behind prototyping is to save on the time and cost to develop something that can be tested with real users. These savings can only be achieved by somehow reducing the prototype compared with the full system: either cutting down on the number of features in the prototype or reducing the level of functionality of the features such that they seem to work but do not actually do anything." (Jakob Nielsen, "Usability Engineering", 1993)

"Although it might seem as though frittering away valuable time on sketches and models and simulations will slow work down, prototyping generates results faster." (Tim Brown, "Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation", 2009)

"Just as it can accelerate the pace of a project, prototyping allows the exploration of many ideas in parallel. Early prototypes should be fast, rough, and cheap. The greater the investment in an idea, the more committed one becomes to it. Overinvestment in a refined prototype has two undesirable consequences: First, a mediocre idea may go too far toward realization - or even, in the worst case, all the way. Second, the prototyping process itself creates the opportunity to discover new and better ideas at minimal cost." (Tim Brown, "Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation", 2009)

"Prototypes should command only as much time, effort, and investment as is necessary to generate useful feedback and drive an idea forward. The greater the complexity and expense, the more 'finished' it is likely to seem and the less likely its creators will be to profit from constructive feedback - or even to listen to it. The goal of prototyping is not to create a working model. It is to give form to an idea to learn about its strengths and weaknesses and to identify new directions for the next generation of more detailed, more refined prototypes. A prototype’s scope should be limited. The purpose of early prototypes might be to understand whether an idea has functional value." (Tim Brown, "Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation", 2009)

"Prototyping at work is giving form to an idea, allowing us to learn from it, evaluate it against others, and improve upon it." (Tim Brown, "Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation", 2009)

"Since openness to experimentation is the lifeblood of any creative organization, prototyping - the willingness to go ahead and try something by building it - is the best evidence of experimentation." (Tim Brown, "Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation", 2009)

"In analytics, it’s more important for individuals to be able to formulate problems well, to prototype solutions quickly, to make reasonable assumptions in the face of ill-structured problems, to design experiments that represent good investments, and to analyze results." (Foster Provost & Tom Fawcett, "Data Science for Business", 2013)

"Because of the short timeline, it’s tempting to jump into prototyping as soon as you’ve selected your winning ideas. But if you start prototyping without a plan, you’ll get bogged down by small, unanswered questions. Pieces won’t fit together, and your prototype could fall apart." (Jake Knapp et al, "Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days", 2016)

"But perhaps the biggest problem is that the longer you spend working on something - whether it’s a prototype or a real product - the more attached you’ll become, and the less likely you’ll be to take negative test results to heart. After one day, you’re receptive to feedback. After three months, you’re committed." (Jake Knapp et al, "Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days", 2016)

"Sometimes you can’t fit everything in. Remember that the sprint is great for testing risky solutions that might have a huge payoff. So you’ll have to reverse the way you would normally prioritize. If a small fix is so good and low-risk that you’re already planning to build it next week, then seeing it in a prototype won’t teach you much. Skip those easy wins in favor of big, bold bets." (Jake Knapp et al, "Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days", 2016)

"The prototype is meant to answer questions, so keep it focused. You don’t need a fully functional product - you just need a real-looking fa├žade to which customers can react." (Jake Knapp et al, "Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days", 2016)

"You can prototype anything. Prototypes are disposable. Build just enough to learn, but not more. The prototype must appear real." (Jake Knapp, "Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days", 2016)

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