Week 1 Reading (Due start of week 2):

Optimus maximums keyboardThe two introductory readings are chosen to help you put context around the goals and benefits of this Digital Prototyping class. This course is a bit different than many, as it is focused on helping you understand a process and concept more than a particular skill or history. The course is perhaps closest to a writing or critical thinking course, where you are asked to learn a specific process (e.g. thesis writing or journalism) and apply it. I will provide you a basic introduction to a few pieces of software, but like a writing class, you are expected to come to the course with a basic vocabulary. The vocabulary you will use is the software you already know. If you need more vocabulary, you are expected to pop open a dictionary (how to manual) or a thesaurus (tutorial) to complete your projects.

Remember that one of the essential properties of a prototype is that it is cheap to build. One of the lowest cost ways to build, is to use what you already know. It is perfectly appropriate in this course to use Second Life to model a real world scenario, demonstrate a game mechanic in Google Sketchup, use Photoshop composites to demonstrate a new way to interact, etc. This is a great place to refine some skills you may have just learned too.Most importantly this course allows you to be a product designer, an architect, interface designer, game designer, artists, or inventor - it's your choice. Think entrepreneur, think world-changing, think big and have fun :)

  1. Read the short article by Tim Brown (IDEO) in Fast Company, Strategy by Design
  2. Read the short article Integrating Prototyping into Your Design Process by Fred Beecher

Both reading assignments must be completed by our second meeting (1/19/2010).

I also strongly suggest you read the two-page overview I wrote on Digital Prototyping, called What is a Digital Prototype, in case your first day class notes weren't that great.