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.

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