The Bridging Design Prototype (BDP) approach strengthens the link between design, technology, and business in small organisations that are developing products for enabling novel practices. A BDP is a rapid functional prototype built with features familiar to a user community and with novel features that a designer incorporates after careful analysis of relevant data. It capitalises on a user community’s prior knowledge and recognises their context realities. These characteristics bring users into a development process early because they accept to incorporate a BDP into their real activities. While a designer or R&D team use it for learning about the context, community, and practice. An applied design researcher can experience first-hand the little awareness of design as a strategic resource, the little trust small organisations (e.g. start-ups or SMEs) have on the evidence we present, and how the late arrival of the role of design into a project brings issues to light. These issues are recognised as important, but often, small organisations say it is too late to resolve them in products soon to be launched. Through the implementation of BDPs, small organisations can experience first-hand how the role of design helps to shape strategy and establish the value of new product concepts before costly implementations are undertaken, as it should be done in ideal human centred development processes.
Co-Founder, Strategist, Researcher at OceanBrowser Ltd
Dr Gloria Gomez is co-founder and conceptual designer at OceanBrowser Ltd, which are the developers of OB3 – Beautiful Study for Lifelong Learning, and honorary senior lecturer at the Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney. Gloria undertakes applied design research in novel educational practice with Bridging Design Prototypes. This approach was developed during her PhD to gain entry to natural settings for working with difficult to access and technologically dis-inclined communities. It has enabled individual designers or small organisations with incomplete R&D teams to carry realistic studies with user communities. In Colombia, Denmark, New Zealand and USA, she has lectured and supervised graduate students of engineering and design backgrounds.