How Novices Sketch and Prototype Hand-Fabricated Objects
Presentation | Team members | Collaborations | Publications | Job offers | Contact


How Novices Sketch and Prototype Hand-Fabricated Objects

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) - 2016
Download the publication : fabsketch_author.pdf [23.4Mo]  
We are interested in how to create digital tools to support informal sketching and prototyping of physical objects by novices. Achieving this goal first requires a deeper understanding of how non-professional designers generate, explore, and communicate design ideas with traditional tools, i.e., sketches on paper and hands-on prototyping materials. We describe a study framed around two all-day design charrettes where participants perform a complete design process: ideation sketching, concept development and presentation, fabrication planning documentation and collaborative fabrication of hand-crafted prototypes. This structure allows us to control key aspects of the design process while collecting rich data about creative tasks, including sketches on paper, physical models, and videos of collaboration discussions. Participants used a variety of drawing techniques to convey 3D concepts. They also extensively manipulated physical materials, such as paper, foam, and cardboard, both to support concept exploration and communication with design partners. Based on these observations, we propose design guidelines for CAD tools targeted at novice crafters.

Images and movies


See also

All sketches and pictures of the prototypes created by the participants are available as supplemental material.

BibTex references

  author       = "Bousseau, Adrien and Tsandilas, Theophanis and Oehlberg, Lora and Mackay, Wendy",
  title        = "How Novices Sketch and Prototype Hand-Fabricated Objects",
  booktitle    = "ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)",
  year         = "2016",
  url          = ""

Other publications in the database

» Adrien Bousseau
» Theophanis Tsandilas
» Lora Oehlberg
» Wendy Mackay