Protoyping is something that is nowadays an everyday activity in our field. Interaction designers do it all the time. But even if this is the case, prototypes are not well understood, except for the quite crude low-fidelity versus high-fidelity dimension. Together with two colleagues I have just published a paper with the title "The Anatomy of Prototypes: Prototypes as Filters, Prototypes as Manifestations of Design Ideas" in the ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interation. (You can dowload a pdf-version here.)
In this article we develop a thorough understanding of prototypes, how they can be described and how a designer should/could think about prototypes in rational way. For instance, we present (i) the fundamental prototyping principle, (ii) the economic principle of prototyping, and (iii) an anatomy of prototypes.
Hope you like it!