The Right Fidelity: designedly representations that enhance multidisciplinary product development
Guido STOMPFF and Frido SMULDERS
In product development, representations of the intended product are needed
to enable specialists to learn about what they develop together. A variety of
representations is deployed, ranging from textual documents like
requirements, up to integrated prototypes. The difference between these
representations is the fidelity: the degree to which a representation
corresponds to the eventual real world product.
In a long term participatory study, we observed that some of these
representations serve as boundary objects: objects that have a capability in
teams and organizations to transfer, translate and transform knowledge
across difficult epistemological barriers. However, the fidelity of these
representations varied considerably. Expressing the intended product is not
merely a translation of a preconceived idea in an appealing visual, but coshapes
the social process.
We categorized the representations into four groups, and found that the
'right' fidelity of a representation is situational dependent where the situation
is formed by the involved boundaries and aim of the social interactions. We
present the categories and a framework to explain our findings, including the
relation with the team process.
PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014
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