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Tags // Prototyping

15 Desktop & Online Wireframing tools

From UX booth:

“Like most things today, the world of interaction design moves quickly. Although a pen and notebook may suffice when it comes to simply jotting down ideas, planning a series of website screens can sometimes demand additional precision and cohesion. This is where today’s wireframing tools come in.”

16 User Interface Prototyping Tools

Russell Wilson has written up an extensive comparison of 16 prototype tools for UI development. I just watched the demo for Adobe's Thermo, and it looks really impressive. Omni Graffle has been my staple over the years, but would like to give others a try.

Paper Prototyping

A how-to article at A List Apart on using paper prototypes to brainstorm and evaluate designs.

Paper prototyping can also help improve the final product: the prototyping stage is the right time to catch design flaws and change directions, and the flexibility and disposability of paper encourages experimentation and speedy iteration. Instead of “deleting” hours worth of layout code you’ve used to position a column in the right place, you can draw a prototype, throw away the ideas that don’t work, and move on.

Looking Back on 16 Years of Paper Prototyping

Jared Spool writes about the changes in paper prototyping over the years:

"While design programs, such as Illustrator or Dreamweaver, have become much easier then when we first started using this technique, they are still too cumbersome to produce the rough designs we require for a quality paper prototype. Every time we've tried to use them, we find ourselves bogged down with lining things up neatly and other micro-design activities that take time and tell us nothing about the design's effectiveness. The programs are great once the basic design elements are established, but for the initial round of paper tests, we find them to be overkill and distracting."

Creating digital prototypes

Dave Rogers has written an article about creating digital prototypes using Acrobat. So instead of having dead pages, you can have live links and forms. Here's the proof of concept (PDF).

What an IA Should Know About Prototypes for User Testing

This is a nice article from Boxes and Arrows, which focuses on a) the degree of fidelity and b) the level of interactivity for your prototypes. These two points are also useful when using distributed teams to build systems -- both factors are high initially but with shared understanding they gradually come down.

Information Week: E-Learning On The Fly

Information Week: E-Learning On The Fly

"IBM is prototyping mobile E-learning solutions for customers in industries such as retail and fast-food restaurants that can provide on-the-fly, on-the-go training with bite-sized content for employees."

Boxes and Arrows: Defining Feature Sets Through Prototyping

Boxes and Arrows: Defining Feature Sets Through Prototyping
One of the main reasons to create a Vision Prototype is to allow the rest of the project team and the client to understand, review, and provide feedback on the vision. Because the prototype makes the ideas under discussion visible and concrete, it's common for new needs or concerns to come up at this point

GUUUI: The Bottom-line of Prototyping

GUUUI: The Bottom-line of Prototyping and Usability Testing
Critical parts of user-centred design, such as prototyping and usability testing, are often considered flights of fancy which only increase the cost of a Web project. But these design methods actually have their legitimacy in cost effective development. Though they add a few percent to the development expenses up-front, they can reduce the cost of making changes due to unanticipated client and user requirements by 10 to 100 times.
- via InfoDesign

Businessweek: The Power of Smart

Businessweek: The Power of Smart Design
In a nation where most people still can't program their VCRs, the key is imposing discipline on designers and technologists who pride themselves on their quirky style or technological prowess -- without, of course, quashing creativity. At IDEO, that means following a well-defined process that includes a heavy emphasis on teamwork, brainstorming, and prototyping.

IBM Developer Works: Paper prototyping

IBM Developer Works: Paper prototyping
Wouldn't it be great to find out what users (and marketing) want before you start coding? Paper prototyping lets you do just that. While it may seem counterintuitive to test an interface without using a computer, paper prototyping lets you get maximum feedback for minimum effort. After a few usability tests with a paper prototype, you'll have confidence that you're implementing the right thing.

SiliconValley.com: Ideo gives technology a

SiliconValley.com: Ideo gives technology a human touch
Take the case of the Stanford Learning Lab. Ideo was asked to create an innovative space inside Wallenberg Hall for students and faculty that corresponds to the Learning Lab's mission of researching how people learn. Through research and prototyping, Ideo architect Fred Dust and his team designed a ``building within a building.'' ... Rooms can be instantly reconfigured with a system of movable walls.

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