Monday, April 6, 2009

Reading - Sketching User Experiences: Paper Prototyping

Static vs. Dynamic
Static paper prototype: testers interact with static paper models.
Dynamic paper prototype: testers' choices affect the "next step" sketched with paper.

Why paper?
  • Design flaws are caught early, and alternatives are quick to generate and tested.
  • Get interactive faster, sooner, and cheaper.
Paper-based Technique
In a testing session, there are:
Facilitator - talks with users and walk them through the exercise
Computer - manipulates paper interface in response to users' actions
Videographer - videotapes the testing session

When is this used?
  • Quickly explore a concept
  • Informal testing or quick probes
  • Usability testing
Why videotape the session?
  • Future reference
  • Communicate ideas to those not physically presented
  • Capture user comments and subtle interactions
Wiklund's Study (1992):
  • The aesthetic quality of prototype did not bias users for or against the prototype's perceived usability.
  • Sketches are not prototypes.
  • Just because something looks like a sketch doesn't mean that it is a sketch.
Design vs. Usability Engineering
  • Design: Branching exploration and comparison
  • Usability Engineering: Iterative incremental refinement

  • The role of design is to find the best design.
  • The role of usability engineering is to help that design the best.
Process Design vs. Product Design
  • Innovation in process trumps innovation in product.
  • Sketches, prototypes, models, simulations, and demos.

Reading - From User to Character


What is a Scenario?
A scenario has a protagonist, a setting, and a goal.

What is a Story?
A story has a protagonist, a setting, and a plot.

So, a scenario is a story with a setting, a goal/plot, and a protagonist.

Traditionally, there are two story types:
Plot Driven and Character Driven.
In a plot driven story, the plot drives the development of the story. The characters are merely participants of the story. However, in a character driven story, the character is the center of the story and the plot develops around the central character.

User Scenario - Character Driven Story
  • Writer's Attitude Toward Model User
- Give insight into the user as a person not a tool.
- Focus on character development rather than action.
- Be aware of the motivation behind character's reaction.
  • Definition of a Character
- "paradigm of traits"
- Drives story development. Not a product of the plot. Not a participant.
  • Writing a Rounded Character
- Character is the central element --> see the user as a person.
- Describe in greater details:
multiple traits
physiology, psychology, sociology
inner needs and goals, motivation