Sketching and prototyping of design concepts have long been valued as tools to support productive early stage design. This study investigates previous findings about the interplay between the use and timing of use of such design tools. This study evaluates such tools in the context of team design projects. General trends and statistically significant results about “sketchstorming” and prototyping suggest that, in certain constrained contexts, the focus should be on the quality of information rather than on the quantity of information generated, and that prototyping should begin as soon as possible during the design process. Ramifications of these findings are discussed in the context of educating future designers on the efficient use of design tools.

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