Open Prototyping

by Carson Reynolds

The emergence of lightweight prototyping tools like DENIM makes possible a new style of development. Open Prototyping is a fusion of open source programming and interaction design. Using this development methodology prototype interfaces can be evaluated by users during early stages of development. More importantly, users who don’t know how to program can contribute to the development of interaction for any software in which they have a stake. The result is that, using tools like DENIM, communities of operating systems users can have a larger role in the development of early prototypes for things like GUIs for package management.

Over the last month I’ve been presenting the notion of Open Prototyping at the MIT Media Lab and Media Lab Europe. More recently, I’ve been trying to publicize the notion by posting to various websites. It’s been slow going, but it seems like the idea might just got a little help in the form of a wired news article on DENIM. My next goals are to hold some informal workshops on open prototyping and also to write a description of the method for Boxes and Arrows.