Gloria Gomez, PhD / co-founder, strategist, researcher / about me / publications

Bridging Design Prototype (BDP) Approach



Concept map on BDP approach

I undertake applied research in educational product development from the perspectives of interaction design, visual design, and human-centered product development (also called design thinking), through the application of the Bridging Design Prototype™ approach. My doctoral project titled “Issues in Preschool Concept Mapping: An Interaction Design Perspective” included the development of this approach. A BDP facilitated the process of gaining early entry to difficult to access and technologically disinclined user communities.

The BDP approach strengthens the role of design in business by enabling small organisations with limited budgets, incomplete or non-ideal R&D teams to undertake design thinking in early product development. User communities accept to incorporate a BDP into their real activities, while a designer or R&D team uses it for learning about the community, the context, the practice. BDPs can be considered experience prototypes and provotypes. The main difference with these rapid prototypes is that BDPs must be fully functional rapid prototypes. Experimentation should not require the presence of a designer. By functional, it means that teachers, for example, must be able to use them in real activities, with their students. But, these are not necessarily minimum viable products, as the digital or tangible materials with which they are built could have a limited lifespan.

The BDP approach is used to advance two applied design research lines.

Applied research line 1 in Design for Learning

It is being developed through studies an explorations in the area of “design for learning through Bridging Design Prototypes™”. BDPs have been implemented to research issues in preschool concept mapping and how people study online. At present, I am in the concept research phase for implementing BDPs for improving algebraic skills in early primary education and enabling people with severe impairments to study online.

BDP Cases in Design for Learning

  • In early childhood education, the BDP for preschool concept mapping has been used for generative design as part of Gloria Gomez's PhD (Gomez, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005)
  • In elementary school, a BDP for learning the multiplication tables has been used for making explorations with first graders, as part of Claudia Marin's Maestria en Diseño y Creación at La Universidad de Caldas
  • A BDP for online postgraduate education has been used for early product development by OceanBrowser Ltd. The BDP was used for raising capital to build OB3 - Beautiful Study of Lifelong Learning (Gomez & Tamblyn, 2012a, 2012b)
  • Projects on the transition of early algebra (see FULCRUM) and gamification of assistive technologies (Contreras, Gómez & Navarro-Newball, under review) will be using BDPs to undertake relevant studies and explorations in real natural settings.


Applied research line 2 in Early Product Development and Innovation

It is being developed through teaching and supervision and is called “strengthening the role of design in small organisations through Bridging Design Prototypes™”. The BDP approach enables my students as part of incomplete or non-ideal R&D teams to carry out a design thinking process and somewhat structure design in the fuzzy-front end phase (ideation to proof of concepts) of new product development. My students have developed BDPs for the welfare, energy, educational, leisure, and sporting industries.

BDP Cases in Early Product Development and Innovation

Between 2014-16, some of my students in Product Development of Innovation at the University of Southern Denmark developed BDPs to undertake projects on early concept development:
  • A BDP for international students to navigate the Danish Society by Alexanda Rasmussen
  • A BDP for measuring and evaluating own food waste by Katrina Riber Hansen
  • A BDP for building healthy habits in children by Eva Hudakova
  • A BDP for climbers and athletes to train unilateral movement - Robert Hoppe
  • A BDP for teenage children and parents to talk about sexually transmitted diseases by Bjørn Clemensen
  • A BDP for investigating a student food delivery service by Casper Karlsmose Andersen
  • A BDP for investigating the relevance of implementing and app for collaborative games by Rafael Moreno Aranda
  • The BDP approach used for career development skills by Magnus Vestergaard Laurse
  • The BDP approach used for creating a user research framework within the existing product development model of Blue Ocean Robotics by EnikoRozsnyói
  • The BDP approach used for evaluating a welfare technology (Touch and Play) by Maigen Wilki Thygesen
  • The BDP development of a plant sensor for Sensohive by Mathias Halkjær Petersen


Blog post "Bridging Design Prototypes (BDPs) – A design tool to resource sustainable, equitable, flexible learning". , 5 December, 2023, Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand (FLANZ)

Talk "Community-centred design: Innovating with learners and educators using Bridging Design Prototypes". Ulearn22, 12 October 2022, Core Education

Ponencia "Bridging Design Prototype”: Fortalecimiento del Rol del Diseño como Recurso Estratégico en Organizaciones Pequeñas". Presentada el Congreso (Virtual) de Enseñanza del Diseño 2022

cover-audiorecording-talk/workshop on the Bridging Design Prototype Approach

Full paper "The Bridging Design Prototype Approach: Strengthening the role of design as a strategic resource in small organisations ", CITRENZ 2022: Computing and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand, October 2022, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

ePoster Presentation Human-centred design with Bridging Design Prototypes, Digital Health Week, Digital Health & Informatics Network, 15 - 17 February 2022, University of Sydney, Australia

Special Commendation Award, Digital Health Week, Digital Health & Informatics Network, 15 - 17 February 2022, University of Sydney, Australia

Online discussion on the paper "Bridging Design Prototypes and Autonomous Design" hosted by the Design Literacy International Network. Access to announcement and video recording here

cover-audiorecording-talk/workshop on the Bridging Design Prototype Approach

Hybrid Talk/Workshop "Gaining Entry to Real Settings with Bridging Design Prototypes", CITRENZ 2021: Computing and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand, Jul 2021, Te Papa, Wellignton, New Zealand

Short video (6 min) summarising made ideas on presentation "Reflecting how the Bridging Design Prototype approach could contribute to the concept of Autonomía". Pivot 2020: Designing a World of Many Centers, New Orleans, USA. Full paper "Bridging Design Prototypes and Autonomous Design" 

photos of workshop on Bridging Design Prototype Approach

Workshop on Bridging Design Prototypes at the Education Summit, Interaction15, San Francisco, USA


  • Gomez, G. (2022). The bridging design prototype approach: Strengthening the role of design as a strategic resource in small organisations. In E. Erturk & B. Otinpong (Eds.), CITRENZ 2022: Proceedings of the 13th Annual Conference of Computing and Information Technology Education and Research in New Zealand (pp. 37-47).
  • Gomez, G. (2020). Bridging design prototypes & autonomous design In Proc. Of Pivot 2020: Designing a World of Many Centers. DRS Pluriversal Design SIG, Tulane University.
  • Gomez, G., Wilki Thygesen, M., Melson, A., Halkjær Petersen, M., Harlev, C., Rozsnyói, E., & Rubaek, T. A. (2020). Bridging design prototypes. In D. Gardiner & H. Reefke (Eds.), Operations management for business excellence: Building sustainable supply chains (4th ed.). Abingdon, England: Routledge.
  • Contreras, V. E., Gómez, G., & Navarro-Newball, A. A. (2019). Towards the gamification of assistive technology for professionals with severe impairments. Paper presented at the 2019 International Conference on Virtual Reality and Visualization (ICVRV), Hong Kong, China.   
  • Gomez, G., Crombie, D. (2016). Bridging design prototypes in the development of games for formal learning environments. In Proc. of VS-Games 2016: 8th International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications. Barcelona, Spain.
  • Gomez, G., Tamblyn, R. (2012, Jan 12-14). Product development in a small IT firm: an interaction design perspective. In Proc. of PIN-C 2012 – Participatory Innovation Conference. Melbourne, Australia. Download from
  • Gomez, G. (2009, July 6 -7). Gaining entry to real settings with a bridging design prototype. In Proc. of the 10th International Conference NZ Chapter of the ACM's Special Interest Group oon Human-Computer Interaction, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Gomez, G. (2007, April 28 - May 3). A bridging design prototype for investigating concept mapping in the preschool community. In CHI '07 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, pp. 1747-1752, San Jose, CA, USA.

Last updated: 2 February, 2024