Software Engineering Research Group - SERG

Computer Science | Faculty of Engineering, LTH

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Prototyping Aspects Model (PAM)

Prototyping is an established practice for user interface design and for exploring, communicating, and validating requirements within agile software development. Even so, there is a lack of theory on prototyping and how to apply the practice for a given context to achieve the desired outcome in a cost-efficient way.

We have performed a systematic mapping study of existing literature and designed a model of prototyping based on current knowledge. The model was validated through a focus group at one case company and through a multi-case study of eleven other case companies through semi-structured interviews. At these interviews the model was used to discuss prototyping practices with practitioners and to categories 43 prototyping instances mentioned by these.

The model consists of five main aspects of prototyping, namely purpose, prototype scope, prototype media, prototype use, and exploration strategy. Practitioners can use our model to reflect on their prototyping practices and how to select an exploration strategy, prototype scope, media and user to meet the purposes of their prototyping activity. Our study also provides a starting point for further research on how prototyping can be used more effectively to support the elicitation, validation, and communication of requirements and new business ideas within software startups and agile development projects.


Elizabeth Bjarnason, Franz Lang, and Alexander Mjöberg. 2021. A Model of Software Prototyping based on a Systematic Map. In Proceedings of ACM ESEM (ESEM’21). [First version of the model]

Elizabeth Bjarnason, Franz Lang, and Alexander Mjöberg. 2022. An Empirically Based Model of Software Prototyping: a Systematic Map and a Multi-Case Study. Under review at Empirical Software Engineering Journal. [Second version of the model]



Main contact: Elizabeth Bjarnason