Doesn’t this depend on the nature and purpose of the prototype? For example, one can create a low-fi prototype that is specifically designed to be stimulus / provocation and thus help prompt a discussion about an underlying need, or to test whether an insight seems directionally valid (about the nature of the problem, not the solution).
Wasn’t that the whole point though (and the power of it)? Not saying it was the wrong decision (these kinds of decisions are often complex, and I’m not privy to the information and strategies they relied on), but that was what made it unique among in a world of clickbait content farms and like button inflation.
Sure, but it’s never divorced from cultural context — if design is problem solving, it’s problem solving in one context and not another, a context that has attributes one can understand and design around. A designer can have their ear to the ground of what will likely matter to a particular group in a particular context (tonally, aesthetically, etc)…
I’d argue it also brings with it indispensable methods for understanding what people’s needs are in the context of their lives and relationships, and a stance on the importance of those needs as a foundation for new ideas.