What tools do you use for prototyping?

1 Nov 2007 - 1:58pm
3 years ago
92 replies
7488 reads
Todd Warfel
2003

What prototyping tools are in your toolbox?

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
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Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
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In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

Comments

8 Nov 2007 - 12:06pm
Ari
2006

Good point. A specification is essentially a 'container' that encapsulates
both wireframes/prototypes and the descriptions of the desired functionality
and interactions required for a given product, project or feature.

On 11/8/07, Gavin Edmonds <Gavin.Edmonds at hwlhandsets.com> wrote:
>
> Following this thread it is clear that 'prototypes' and what is a
> 'design specification' is being confused as well as the purpose for
> creating a prototype. Prototypes can be used from developing an idea,
> gaining user insights, presentations to the client & form part of the
> final design specification to be built (Sometimes the prototype becomes
> the final product).
>
> In everyday design life there are factors of different applications of
> UI, design methods, budgets, time & requirements that drive a decision
> for the best approach. The UI folk that I know all have one thing in
> common - they strive to do their best making the most out of the
> opportunity.
>
> To get back to the topic of what tools do you use for prototyping - the
> range I use goes from sketch - high fidelity on paper, in browser &
> flash. The decision for what type of prototype is driven by the purpose
> & resource. It is difficult to choose the best prototyping method
> without consider the factors above.
>
> I find comments in the thread about there being no value for paper
> prototyping unfounded as I have always gained huge value from paper
> prototyping, especially for usability & user research.
>
> Maybe the thread will gain more value from stating what the prototype is
> required for?
>
>
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8 Nov 2007 - 1:59pm
Ari
2006

Axure is definitely a prototyping tool but it's also quite good at
generating specifications. you get 2/3 of the fidelity that Visio has for
wireframing but the ability to annotate elements in an unobtrusive way PLUS
you have the ability to actually make your wireframes interactive for
prototyping - all from the same source file. this is pretty cool.

On 11/8/07, Fred Beecher <fbeecher at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On Nov 7, 2007 5:57 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk <andrei at involutionstudios.com>
> wrote:
>
> >
> > Too many people in our field use Visio as a replacement for
> > production level drawing tools, like FreeHand, Fireworks r
> > Illustrator. In doing so, they stop themselves from learning the
> > skills they need to actually do more design at the production level,
> > which in turn are skills that help in dealing with richer prototypes.
> >
>
> How many of us *want* to do design at the production level? I certainly
> don't. Hell, I can't be trusted with much color of any sort in my
> wardrobe,
> let alone on a client's Web site.
>
> I don't have "production design skills," but what I do have is almost 10
> years of IA, IxD, usability, & user research experience. Understanding
> users
> and designing for their needs & behaviors is what I'm good at, and
> prototyping... that is to say *lo-fi* prototyping... is a *key* component
> of
> my ability to deliver quality work. Lo-fi prototyping is crucial to
> understanding whether basic structures (from simple navigation to fancy
> Web
> 2.0 gew-gaws) of interaction make sense to their intended audience. If
> they
> do, great, I can move forward. If they don't, it's back to the drawing
> board
> for me.
>
> I am also a big proponent of hi-fi prototyping. But I really feel that it
> should only take place after at least one round of lo-fi prototyping and
> revisions. To me, the purpose of hi-fi prototyping is to determine whether
> the design (and possibly code) that the original IxD has been translated
> into has gotten in the user's way. Just like in lo-fi prototyping, there's
> bound to be some revisions required.
>
> (There are other situations in which *only* hi-fi prototypes make sense,
> but
> I see them as the exception rather than the rule.)
>
> To get somewhat back on the thread of this conversation, for me, tools
> like
> Axure are what allow me (someone with no design and only basic HTML
> experience) to use prototyping as part of my practice. Axure I definitely
> consider a prototyping tool. Visio, however, is a tool that can produce
> prototypes. If I know going into a project that prototyping is required, I
> will definitely start that project using Axure rather than Visio.
>
> (This is a great discussion, btw... as the Web matures, prototyping
> skills,
> I think, are critical for IxDs to be considered competent at what we do)
>
> - Fred
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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9 Nov 2007 - 8:41am
vutpakdi
2003

Joe wrote:
> I concur with Bill--give me a good combined tool. While I like
> Canvas, having used it since version 3.5, I am saddened by what
> ACDeeSee has done to it. Latest version is Windows only, for example.
>
I'm saddened by what ACD has done (and not done) with Canvas as well.
Here is this wonderful tool that I use every day for design work, that
is close to being an ideal design tool for me, and its just being near
neglected to death. ACD bought Deneba to raid Canvas for some tools for
their favorite product (who needs yet another photo organizer/editor?),
and has treated Canvas as the unwanted step child ever since.

I use it in the same fashion that Bill does. If they could continue to
make it multi-platform, fix some of the bugs, and put some additional
features into it (for example, being able to render lines in strict or
loose fashion ala Sketch-Up), it really would be an ideal tool for
design specifications, wireframes, and low fidelity prototypes.

At least they improved the already strong alignment tools in version
11. Being able to select the reference object all of the other ones are
aligned against has made my life easier.

Ron

17 Nov 2007 - 8:42am
Daimon Caulk
2007

Our typical process from concept to prototype is:

- Post-It Notes
- Visio Flow Diagrams (PDF)
- Visio Wireframes (PDF)
- PhotoShop/Illustrator
- XHTML/CSS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22050

17 Nov 2007 - 12:47pm
Todd Luger
2007

Has anyone used Oversite?

It is shareware for mac and PC. I haven't tried it, but just
downloaded a copy from http://taubler.com/oversite/

Todd Luger
Instructional Designer
Department of e-Learning
Savannah College of Art and Design
voice: (912) 525-8033
fax: (912) 525-8035

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22050

17 Nov 2007 - 4:43pm
Darek Paciorek
2007

I'm using Axure.

17 Nov 2007 - 11:45pm
Trip O'Dell
2007

"Always paper first. Always. Paper before Pixel."

No offense, but that's just silly. Some people need paper to get
started - I find it to be a real hinderance - I like the ability to
freeform a bunch of concepts in omnigraffle and look at where there
are intersecting ideas.

Different strokes and all that. Not everyone processes their ideas
the same way (which is obvious from the length of the thread).

Actually my favorite "tool" is working directly with another
designer at a white board and throwing ideas back and forth. The
whiteboard somehow seems less constrained for me than paper.

I think the best approach is looking for tools that fit the way you
think and are comfortable expressing your ideas, rather than looking
for tools and workflows to fit your ideas into.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22050

18 Nov 2007 - 5:07pm
paul turner
2007

For mid- to high-fid prototypes, I am using Axure RP Pro 4.6.

Advantages

* Generates interactive prototypes whose files include CSSs, HTML, and
Javascript.

* Exports screen states to JPGs.

* Exports all screen states and pseudo-code to .docx format. You'll need a
Microsoft compatibility pack to save the .docx to Word 2003.

* Offered gratis to current students of HCI, Human Factors, and related
fields through Axure's Good Student program.

----

It would be good to be able to include business cases that would be exported
to .docx. It would be terrific if the product interfaced with databases
(like iRise).

Yours in the increments,

Paul Turner
User interface designer.

18 Nov 2007 - 7:46pm
mtumi
2004

I agree that this is silly, although it may be for different reasons.

Personally, I have found that people don't always make the leap from
paper sketches to the real experience of using the UI. Not to say
that you should always present a final design, but sometimes I think
it is better to present a design that at least looks halfway real.

How many of us have ever used a system that looks like a paper sketch?

As usual (always? ;-) ) , I don't think an "always" answer does the
situation justice....

MT

On Nov 17, 2007, at 8:45 PM, tripodell wrote:

> "Always paper first. Always. Paper before Pixel."
>
> No offense, but that's just silly. Some people need paper to get
> started - I find it to be a real hinderance - I like the ability to
> freeform a bunch of concepts in omnigraffle and look at where there
> are intersecting ideas.
>
> Different strokes and all that. Not everyone processes their ideas
> the same way (which is obvious from the length of the thread).
>
> Actually my favorite "tool" is working directly with another
> designer at a white board and throwing ideas back and forth. The
> whiteboard somehow seems less constrained for me than paper.
>
> I think the best approach is looking for tools that fit the way you
> think and are comfortable expressing your ideas, rather than looking
> for tools and workflows to fit your ideas into.
>
>
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22050
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

18 Nov 2007 - 10:25pm
Anonymous

You guys are taking it much too literally.

1) Replace 'Paper' with 'White Board' and that may help

2) This guy designs appliances for seniors for Whirlpool. What he is
saying is you don't walk into the factory and start making dishwashers
on day 1. You flesh out low-fi ideas first. His example was
integrating the counter top into all the appliances. which was easily
sketched out on paper first to get feedback from the Whirlpool execs.

On Nov 18, 2007 6:46 PM, Michael Tuminello <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:
> I agree that this is silly, although it may be for different reasons.
>
> Personally, I have found that people don't always make the leap from
> paper sketches to the real experience of using the UI. Not to say
> that you should always present a final design, but sometimes I think
> it is better to present a design that at least looks halfway real.
>
> How many of us have ever used a system that looks like a paper sketch?
>
> As usual (always? ;-) ) , I don't think an "always" answer does the
> situation justice....
>
> MT
>
>
> On Nov 17, 2007, at 8:45 PM, tripodell wrote:
>
> > "Always paper first. Always. Paper before Pixel."
> >
> > No offense, but that's just silly. Some people need paper to get
> > started - I find it to be a real hinderance - I like the ability to
> > freeform a bunch of concepts in omnigraffle and look at where there
> > are intersecting ideas.
> >
> > Different strokes and all that. Not everyone processes their ideas
> > the same way (which is obvious from the length of the thread).
> >
> > Actually my favorite "tool" is working directly with another
> > designer at a white board and throwing ideas back and forth. The
> > whiteboard somehow seems less constrained for me than paper.
> >
> > I think the best approach is looking for tools that fit the way you
> > think and are comfortable expressing your ideas, rather than looking
> > for tools and workflows to fit your ideas into.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> > Posted from the new ixda.org
> > http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22050
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

18 Nov 2007 - 11:00pm
mtumi
2004

Yep. I guess so. I should have read the earlier messages. Making
alpha versions of dishwashers for the sake of UI design seems less
than cost-effective. I will still say, however, if you say "always"
anything, you're asking for people to disagree with you (and they will
probably be right.).

MT

On Nov 18, 2007, at 10:25 PM, Mike Scarpiello wrote:

> You guys are taking it much too literally.
>
> 1) Replace 'Paper' with 'White Board' and that may help
>
> 2) This guy designs appliances for seniors for Whirlpool. What he is
> saying is you don't walk into the factory and start making dishwashers
> on day 1. You flesh out low-fi ideas first. His example was
> integrating the counter top into all the appliances. which was easily
> sketched out on paper first to get feedback from the Whirlpool execs.
>
> On Nov 18, 2007 6:46 PM, Michael Tuminello <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:
>> I agree that this is silly, although it may be for different reasons.
>>
>> Personally, I have found that people don't always make the leap from
>> paper sketches to the real experience of using the UI. Not to say
>> that you should always present a final design, but sometimes I think
>> it is better to present a design that at least looks halfway real.
>>
>> How many of us have ever used a system that looks like a paper
>> sketch?
>>
>> As usual (always? ;-) ) , I don't think an "always" answer does the
>> situation justice....
>>
>> MT
>>
>>
>> On Nov 17, 2007, at 8:45 PM, tripodell wrote:
>>
>>> "Always paper first. Always. Paper before Pixel."
>>>
>>> No offense, but that's just silly. Some people need paper to get
>>> started - I find it to be a real hinderance - I like the ability to
>>> freeform a bunch of concepts in omnigraffle and look at where there
>>> are intersecting ideas.
>>>
>>> Different strokes and all that. Not everyone processes their ideas
>>> the same way (which is obvious from the length of the thread).
>>>
>>> Actually my favorite "tool" is working directly with another
>>> designer at a white board and throwing ideas back and forth. The
>>> whiteboard somehow seems less constrained for me than paper.
>>>
>>> I think the best approach is looking for tools that fit the way you
>>> think and are comfortable expressing your ideas, rather than looking
>>> for tools and workflows to fit your ideas into.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>>> Posted from the new ixda.org
>>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22050
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
>>> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
>>> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
>> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
>> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

19 Nov 2007 - 10:54am
Anonymous

Agreed - always is a strong word.

On Nov 18, 2007 10:00 PM, Michael Tuminello <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:
> Yep. I guess so. I should have read the earlier messages. Making
> alpha versions of dishwashers for the sake of UI design seems less
> than cost-effective. I will still say, however, if you say "always"
> anything, you're asking for people to disagree with you (and they will
> probably be right.).
>
> MT
>
> On Nov 18, 2007, at 10:25 PM, Mike Scarpiello wrote:
>
> > You guys are taking it much too literally.
> >
> > 1) Replace 'Paper' with 'White Board' and that may help
> >
> > 2) This guy designs appliances for seniors for Whirlpool. What he is
> > saying is you don't walk into the factory and start making dishwashers
> > on day 1. You flesh out low-fi ideas first. His example was
> > integrating the counter top into all the appliances. which was easily
> > sketched out on paper first to get feedback from the Whirlpool execs.
> >
> > On Nov 18, 2007 6:46 PM, Michael Tuminello <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:
> >> I agree that this is silly, although it may be for different reasons.
> >>
> >> Personally, I have found that people don't always make the leap from
> >> paper sketches to the real experience of using the UI. Not to say
> >> that you should always present a final design, but sometimes I think
> >> it is better to present a design that at least looks halfway real.
> >>
> >> How many of us have ever used a system that looks like a paper
> >> sketch?
> >>
> >> As usual (always? ;-) ) , I don't think an "always" answer does the
> >> situation justice....
> >>
> >> MT
> >>
> >>
> >> On Nov 17, 2007, at 8:45 PM, tripodell wrote:
> >>
> >>> "Always paper first. Always. Paper before Pixel."
> >>>
> >>> No offense, but that's just silly. Some people need paper to get
> >>> started - I find it to be a real hinderance - I like the ability to
> >>> freeform a bunch of concepts in omnigraffle and look at where there
> >>> are intersecting ideas.
> >>>
> >>> Different strokes and all that. Not everyone processes their ideas
> >>> the same way (which is obvious from the length of the thread).
> >>>
> >>> Actually my favorite "tool" is working directly with another
> >>> designer at a white board and throwing ideas back and forth. The
> >>> whiteboard somehow seems less constrained for me than paper.
> >>>
> >>> I think the best approach is looking for tools that fit the way you
> >>> think and are comfortable expressing your ideas, rather than looking
> >>> for tools and workflows to fit your ideas into.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> >>> Posted from the new ixda.org
> >>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22050
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> ________________________________________________________________
> >>> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> >>> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> >>> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >>>
> >>> ________________________________________________________________
> >>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> >>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> >>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> >>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> >>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >>
> >> ________________________________________________________________
> >> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> >> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> >> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >>
> >> ________________________________________________________________
> >> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> >> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> >> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> >> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> >> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >>
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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>

19 Nov 2007 - 11:44am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Nov 19, 2007, at 10:54 AM, Mike Scarpiello wrote:

> Agreed - always is a strong word.

Is it always a strong word?

(Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

Jared

19 Nov 2007 - 12:10pm
mtumi
2004

dude. total mindf*k. I'm reeling. :-)

On Nov 19, 2007, at 11:44 AM, Jared M. Spool wrote:

> On Nov 19, 2007, at 10:54 AM, Mike Scarpiello wrote:
>
>> Agreed - always is a strong word.
>
> Is it always a strong word?
>
> (Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
>
> Jared
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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19 Nov 2007 - 5:06pm
steven ounanian
2007

i always prototype by acting out scenarios, this my include puppetry

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22050

10 Dec 2007 - 6:38am
Rik
2007

Hi Everyone,

I'ts been a while since this topic was started but there's
something you guys might be interested in.

At Eight Media (Arnhem - NL) we are always looking for the best tools
in prototyping.
We've tried alot of different tools from software (omnigraffle) to
paper and whiteboards.

Working on a whiteboard I thought it would be cool if we had little
web-objects you could drag around, for placement and best practises.
I started looking around for these magnets but couldn't find a
manufacturer.
When asking around, I found more webdevelopers would find these
magnets a good tool to use.

So I've started printing form-objects on flexible magnets.
Last month I've launched: www.guimagnets.com to see if more people
would be interested.

I am really curious on the response and feedback on this project and
want to ask you to give your thought on it.

My goal is to:
- Create (the best) magnets with GUI-objects on them, for designers,
development-teams, geeks and their kids :)
- Supply differents sets (form-objects, web-icons, web-objects,
banner-sizes, navigation-objects etc.)
- Add a whiteboard-like material (so you can write on the magnets)
- Listen to user-feedback in order to create the best solution.

Please let me know what you think of the idea and give me some
feedback and thoughts in order to improve the quality of the product.

Cheers!

Rik Schot

blog.guimagnets.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22050

10 Dec 2007 - 6:31pm
Dennis Morrow
2006

Sitepoint created something called "The Usability Kit"

http://www.sitepoint.com/kits/usability1/

They have something called "Magnetic Web Widgets"

Magnetic Web Widgets provides you with a tool box containing all the
common interface nick-nacks -- from textboxes to buttons and checkboxes.
Just stick them on your whiteboard and start designing.

10 Dec 2007 - 7:28pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> Sitepoint created something called "The Usability Kit"
>
> http://www.sitepoint.com/kits/usability1/

Wow - I wonder if I could just resell these to my clients and retire early.
Apparently, one of the things I do best can be reduced to a $200 kit, so
maybe I should stop designing and get more sleep.

(Joking, obviously.)

-r-

10 Dec 2007 - 10:32pm
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Just an FYI:

Staples (and other large office supply stores) have magnetic sheets in
the specialized printer paper section that you can put through an
inkjet (BUT NOT A LASER) printer. You can print your own set of
widgets pretty easily. Most whiteboards are now magnetic so you can
lay out your designs on a white board. You can purchase small
whiteboards that are magnetic and small enough to carry around. The
small whiteboards costs between $10 and $80. Tom Tullis used this
approach at Fidelity (I believe he called it FIDO) where he asked
users to build a web pages given a set of magnetic components.

Chauncey

> They have something called "Magnetic Web Widgets"
>
> Magnetic Web Widgets provides you with a tool box containing all the
> common interface nick-nacks -- from textboxes to buttons and checkboxes.
> Just stick them on your whiteboard and start designing.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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11 Dec 2007 - 3:16am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 11 Dec 2007, at 03:32, Chauncey Wilson wrote:

> Just an FYI:
>
> Staples (and other large office supply stores) have magnetic sheets in
> the specialized printer paper section that you can put through an
> inkjet (BUT NOT A LASER) printer. You can print your own set of
> widgets pretty easily. Most whiteboards are now magnetic so you can
> lay out your designs on a white board. You can purchase small
> whiteboards that are magnetic and small enough to carry around. The
> small whiteboards costs between $10 and $80. Tom Tullis used this
> approach at Fidelity (I believe he called it FIDO) where he asked
> users to build a web pages given a set of magnetic components.
[snip]

Ohhhh... That sounds useful. Has anybody seen this in the UK? A quick
Google around reveals nothing...

Cheers,

Adrian

11 Dec 2007 - 7:18am
.pauric
2006

Adrian - UK based http://www.magnetic-paper.com/

just search the tubes for 'magnetic paper'.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22721

11 Dec 2007 - 7:26am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 11 Dec 2007, at 04:18, pauric wrote:

> Adrian - UK based http://www.magnetic-paper.com/

Ta. Adrian.

16 Dec 2007 - 1:41am
cfmdesigns
2004

On Nov 11, 2007, at 7:19 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

> On Nov 11, 2007, at 4:56 PM, Eric Scheid wrote:
>
>> On 12/11/07 11:19 AM, "Andrei Herasimchuk"
>> <andrei at involutionstudios.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Maybe we should flip this question as you guys seem to be thinking
>>> different than I am. What do you think pixel perfect means?
>>
>> if in the final design, for a given screen, window size,
>> interaction state
>> (etc) a given element is "x" pixels in size, then the same element
>> in the
>> prototype under the same conditions would also be exactly "x"
>> pixels insize.
>
> Ok. That's what I mean as well. So what's so controversial then about
> a prototype that basically acts just like the real thing?

Controversial, maybe not much.

"Dangerous", maybe. I've seen cases with "danger" on both ends.

One was a set of screen captures which purported to be from a
"finished" app, which were used for some very early user research, and
were also passed on to QA (in lieu of a spec, and MRD, or pretty much
any other documentation or description) for test plan creation. Blame
it on whatever misconceptions and misdirection you like, but the
"pixel perfect" consistency of the images led to weeks of wasted work,
with test plans based on inferred functionality and even when the
prototype nature of the images was understood, still more wasted tim e
learning to back away from the underlying concepts which had become
wedged into QA's consciousness.

The other is when the prototype becomes the end product. Something
which was never intended to be the finished item, not built with the
underlying infrastructure, then gets retrofitted into being what is
wanted, and this causes problems continuously through the production
cycle as item after item pokes up and says "hey, I'm still a prototype
over here" and has to be rearchitected on the spot. Which resulted in
a hodgepodge of spaghetti code and patchwork because every problem was
solved independently and sometimes differently. All underlying design
consistency got tossed in order to maintain the surface established by
the too-good prototype.

Not that these things always happen with high-fidelity prototypes, but
they can. We have to avoid falling into the traps set by such.

-- Jim Drew
cfmdesigns at earthlink.net
http://www.soundskinky.com/blog/

16 Dec 2007 - 10:02pm
Carl Sgamboti
2007

Paper and pencil and then Visio is usually the way my prototypes
progress. But I do a lot of work remotely which makes sharing paper
and pencil drawings difficult.

Niklas Wolkert's "sketchy" stencil for Visio to the rescue! I can
superimpose "drawn" controls on top of an existing screenshot which
communicates to my audience the early, flexible stage of the design.

More information here: http://www.guuui.com/issues/02_07.php. Also
includes a handy template for long webpages.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22721

14 Mar 2008 - 1:03pm
Brandon E.B. Ward
2008

I've tried using Flex, but so far the decision-makers didn't like it because it looked too polished and ready-to-go - they wanted B&W, uber-plain, literally wireframed graphics.

So, I've been using Illustrator exclusively. It's a bit tedious, but very flexible.

I hope to move to Thermo when it's released.

B

On 11/1/07 12:23 PM, "Amit Sharma" <amit.u.sharma at oracle.com> wrote:

>> What prototyping tools are in your toolbox?>>

15 Mar 2008 - 6:49am
Anonymous

hi Amit

there is another software available called axure which generates interactive HTML prototypes.

http://www.axure.com/

regards

Ananya

http://vetaal26.googlepages.com/home

16 Mar 2008 - 10:40am
Kevin Doyle
2007

Everyone, before we get into an endless loop of arguing, I think that Robert
hit it on the head about terminology -- let's define what we mean by
"prototype". I'll start a new thread.

On Mon, Nov 12, 2007 at 8:24 PM, Robert Hoekman, Jr.

16 Mar 2008 - 11:11am
SemanticWill
2007

We just had this discussion 6 weeks ago about how to define prototypes -
what kind of prototypes people use, to what end, and how. Is there honestly
any value in revisiting this for the 3rd time in 6 months?

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | CrowdSprout
tel +1.617.281.1281 | fax +1.617.507.6016 | will at crowdsprout.com

16 Mar 2008 - 10:17am
Anonymous

- Axure,

- Dreamweaver,
- Flash,

Depending on what you want to test...

Thermo looks pretty interesting!

Thomas

15 Mar 2008 - 11:42am
Michael B. Moore
2008

I use Fireworks or Visio, but now that I have moved to a Mac, I guess
that'll be Omnigraffle.
In Fireworks I use an intentionally "sketchy" line style so that it looks a
bit hand-drawn and is clearly unfinished.

For the high fidelity prototype I used to do it in Photoshop, but now I do
it in HTML/CSS and just give the files to the developers, who really hate to
wrestle with CSS, so they're happy.

-Michael Moore

17 Mar 2008 - 8:54am
Kevin Doyle
2007

Sorry, Will -- I wasn't aware of this topic already being kicked like
a dead horse. I'm a bit of a noob on this message board... I joined
months ago, but only recently became active on it.

Does IxDA have a wiki or something where we can take some of the
terminology debates and actually have a log of discussion..?

k.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=27140

17 Mar 2008 - 4:48pm
John Vaughan - ...
2004

Dreamweaver: Templates, HTML, a little Layout, Navigation
CSS: most Layout, visual Themes
Fireworks: Illustrative Graphics, Icons, Logos, Photos, Backgrounds
Javascript & Extensions: prepackaged screen-level Behaviors
MS Word: Documentation & support materials

Adobe (MM) Contribute: value-added during stakeholder presentations -
allows the client to do some "hands-on" fiddling w/ content. very empowering
(oh lordy, i actually used the term "empowering...")

use the medium to describe the medium
and
deliver a rich model with efficiency & speed
plus
most of it's readily leveragable

18 Mar 2008 - 12:46pm
Leandro Alves
2008

Ok, all these softwares are pretty good, depending on waht you want to
deliver. But, I really appreciate open source initiative. And,
NeoOffice (for mac) works just fine for almost every thing I need.
Draw works for wireframe and even good looking reports.

For interactive prototypes, I hadn't found a good open source. So, I
still using flash (my old Flash MX license) and I'm going to test the
Axure with an ongoing project.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=27140

21 Dec 2010 - 5:01am
RGaifutdinov
2010

I use GUI Machine. It can create very interactive and detailed prototypes not only for web, but for desktop applications also - it's necessary for my company (we develop web and desktop applications)

 

21 Dec 2010 - 5:16am
Yohan Creemers
2008
Rustem, Is GUI Machine only available in Russian? - Yohan
21 Dec 2010 - 1:05pm
David Drucker
2008

Balsamiq for quick 'sketchy' wireframes Omnigraffle for more detailed wireframes and screen design. Fireworks for web prototypes with some interactivity. Now looking at RunRev.com's Livecode for prototypes on iPhone and iPad.

> >
> >

22 Dec 2010 - 2:41am
holger_maassen
2010

As a UX planner and Information Architect I usually use ...

 

  • Axure

 

sometimes ...

 

  • Visio or Concept Draw

 

http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.com/2010/12/prototyping-and-wireframing-its-your.html

and occasionally a HTML-Editor

21 Dec 2010 - 3:46pm
Sean Gerety
2009

Paper in various forms - Moleskine Notebook, recycled printer paper, bevnaps or Tufte ghost grid notepads.

Whiteboards 

Camera (iPhone or DSLR) to capture drawings and video to capture the narrative or flow

Sketchflow - interactive mockup

 

21 Dec 2010 - 5:05pm
jayeffvee
2007

You prototype in a Moleskine? Really, Sean?

Cool. Tell me how that works?

On Dec 21, 2010, at 4:34 PM, Sean Gerety wrote:

> Paper in various forms - Moleskine Notebook, recycled printer paper,
> bevnaps or Tufte ghost grid notepads. > > Whiteboards > > Camera (iPhone or DSLR) to capture drawings and video to capture the
> narrative or flow > > Sketchflow - interactive mockup >

Joan Vermette email: jayeffvee@mac.com

22 Dec 2010 - 3:35pm
Sean Gerety
2009

Hey Joan,

I usually have a Moleskine with me and use it as part of my prototyping process.  Sketches, ideas, wireframes and interaction flows go in and later are used in interactive prototypes.  I've also used drawings and my iPhone to video the flow and narrative between the various parts of the page, etc.  

Cheers,

Sean

23 Dec 2010 - 7:06am
Mjmc_coy
2010

Awesome idea on iPhone video to show flow and narrative! I'll have to try that.

22 Dec 2010 - 6:05am
yannlossouarn
2010

Personally I always use Axure, which is IMO the "UX designers's Leatherman" : you can progressively go from very simple sketching, to zoning/wireframing/storyboarding/interactive prototyping with the same tool. I had a try with JustInMind Prototyper : it has great additional features compared to Axure (ability to feed your storyboards from a structured data source, more fluent RIA behaviour...), but I was not convinced of its usability.

Yann Lossouarn

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