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Active and passive physicality: Making the most of low fidelity physical interactive prototypes

Hare, Joanna; Gill, Steve; Loudon, Gareth; Lewis, Alan


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Jo Styles
Senior Lecturer in Product Design

Steve Gill

Gareth Loudon

Alan Lewis


Copyright © 2014 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. This paper presents three case-studies which comprise a systematic investigation into the use of low fidelity physical interactive prototyping techniques to form a design principle based on the constructs of active and passive physicality. It proposes that, with a better understanding of active and passive physicality, designers can make more effective prototypes for early stage user trials. Results of our studies indicate that the most effective prototypes balance both active and passive physicality equally. In addition, the notion of physicality can demonstrate why, in our studies; paper prototyping, screen-based prototypes and even Arduino prototypes produced unsatisfactory user data.


Hare, J., Gill, S., Loudon, G., & Lewis, A. (2014). Active and passive physicality: Making the most of low fidelity physical interactive prototypes. Journal of Design Research, 12(4), 330-348.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Dec 5, 2016
Journal Journal of Design Research
Print ISSN 1748-3050
Electronic ISSN 1569-1551
Publisher Inderscience
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 4
Pages 330-348
Keywords active physicality; passive physicality; physical interactive prototypes; fidelity; computer embedded devices; user testing; usability; human computer interaction; HCI; industrial design; paper prototyping; design research; early stage user trials; screen
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