Interactive prototyping

14 Jul 2008 - 7:20pm
5 years ago
22 replies
1885 reads
oliver green
2006

Hi All,

I need to prototype a concept that is a blend of web based
applications and mobile applications. Is there any tool that I can use
to showcase the concepts for both?

Oliver

Comments

14 Jul 2008 - 7:33pm
Anonymous

I am not sure if this is a trick question...!

What about flash CS3?

You can design/prototype/build for many existing mobile devices, and
can prototype for the web... and build for the web if you decide to
go that route.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=31321

14 Jul 2008 - 9:56pm
Itamar Medeiros
2006

There was a comprehensive set of prototyping tools mentioned on the
following thread:

http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=24884&search=prototyping

Worth checking in out!

--
{ Itamar Medeiros } Information Designer
designing clear, understandable communication by
caring to structure, context, and presentation
of data and information

mobile ::: 86 13671503252
website ::: http://designative.info/
aim ::: itamarlmedeiros
skype ::: designative

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=31321

15 Jul 2008 - 1:44am
Janne Kaasalainen
2008

HI,

One nice thing about Flash is that you can do it relatively quickly,
and depending on the mobile (phone?) itself you can run the Lite
version directly on the handset to get a rather good feel how it could
be like. Of course, you need to check to make sure if this applies to
your target devices.

The bad side is that it will not be too easy to resemble native UI.
This, however, may not be a concern, and if it is just to prototype it
may not be an issue for you. Further, depending on the device, the
Flash Lite may run quite a bit slower than native or Java apps. Again,
as long as there are no great real-time expectations for the
prototype, this may be just fine and is definitely nicer than
slideshows.

- Janne

15 Jul 2008 - 7:44am
Fred Beecher
2006

On 7/14/08, oliver green <oliverhci at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hi All,
>
> I need to prototype a concept that is a blend of web based
> applications and mobile applications. Is there any tool that I can use
> to showcase the concepts for both?

Any interactive prototyping tool should be able to handle both. I'm a big
fan of Axure myself, and although I've used it mainly for Web & desktop
apps, I've seen a company using it for mobile devices as well. They created
a background image of the device and just did their wireframes on top of
that image.

This worked well for testing people's ability to navigate through the
device's IA.

I have done a *little* bit with trying to prototype in Axure for hardware
myself and I've run into these issues:

1) If you have soft buttons, people testing (with a mouse in a web browser,
mind you) will want to click on the soft button labels (on the device's
"screen"), not the representation of the physical buttons.

2) If you want to do a hardware prototype, you either need to have a device
that can run a Web browser or...

3) You need to hack something together with an external VGA screen acting as
a 2nd monitor and plugged into a "real" computer.

4) Again with hardware prototyping, you'll need some way to make pressing
the buttons on the physical prototype correspond to mouse clicks at
particular locations on the screen. For this, you'll need something like an
Arduino: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/HomePage

These issues will likely apply to ANY interactive prototyping tool you use,
not just Axure. I'm guessing it will be even more unlikely that a given
device will be able to run Flash than a Web browser (*cough* iPhone
*cough*).

Take care,
F.

29 Jul 2008 - 1:20pm
Jennifer Hoppenrath
2006

Is anyone here famililar with iRise?  It seems similar to Axure.
http://www.irise.com/products/2007_tours/index.php
Jennifer Hoppenrath  |  SeniorInformation Architect  |  Avenue A I  Razorfish  I  direct 206 816 8497  |  cell 206 724 3307

----- Original Message ----
From: Janne Kaasalainen <janne.kaasalainen at gmail.com>
To: IxDA Discuss <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2008 11:44:07 PM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interactive prototyping

HI,

One nice thing about Flash is that you can do it relatively quickly, 
and depending on the mobile (phone?) itself you can run the Lite 
version directly on the handset to get a rather good feel how it could 
be like. Of course, you need to check to make sure if this applies to 
your target devices.

The bad side is that it will not be too easy to resemble native UI. 
This, however, may not be a concern, and if it is just to prototype it 
may not be an issue for you. Further, depending on the device, the 
Flash Lite may run quite a bit slower than native or Java apps. Again, 
as long as there are no great real-time expectations for the 
prototype, this may be just fine and is definitely nicer than 
slideshows.

- Janne
________________________________________________________________
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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29 Jul 2008 - 1:30pm
SemanticWill
2007

We aren't allowed to discuss @xure and iRi3E on this list because of the
legal issues around one of the companies being a *^%$# and suing the other.

On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 2:20 PM, Jennifer Hoppenrath <
jenhoppenrath at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Is anyone here famililar with iRise? It seems similar to Axure.
> http://www.irise.com/products/2007_tours/index.php
> Jennifer Hoppenrath | SeniorInformation Architect | Avenue A I
> Razorfish I direct 206 816 8497 | cell 206 724 3307
>
> \
>

29 Jul 2008 - 1:53pm
Fred Beecher
2006

On 7/29/08, Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com> wrote:
>
> We aren't allowed to discuss @xure and iRi3E on this list because of the
> legal issues around one of the companies being a *^%$# and suing the other.

Oh come on, Will. : )

Discussions of both tools are perfectly valid. The issues were only with
people posting links to patents. If we're not doing that, it's all good.

With that out of the way...

Yes, iRise and Axure are similar. What are your questions exactly? I don't
know iRise in detail, so I'll let someone else actually answer them. : )

- Fred

29 Jul 2008 - 1:55pm
Dave Malouf
2005

that's not true! we can discuss the companies and their solutions. We
just shouldn't discuss specifics about patents. Heck, I can name 2
hand fulls of companies that have patent disputes, the fact that
there is a dispute is meaningless. It is the details inside the
disputes that are meaningful.

Question is fine!

iRise is a much more complex and expensive solution that ties into
formal requirements management solutions that Axure is softer on.
Further Axure focuses on web, while iRise has no such focus. Not that
Axure can't be use for more than web, it is just a focus.

Search for both on the list archives and you'll find a ton here.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=31321

29 Jul 2008 - 1:59pm
SemanticWill
2007

I don't remember exactly - but isn't iRise solutions in the 5 or 6 figure
ballpark? I remember looking into them about 2 years ago and got sticker
shock - anyone know?

On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 2:55 PM, dave malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> that's not true! we can discuss the companies and their solutions. We
> just shouldn't discuss specifics about patents. Heck, I can name 2
> hand fulls of companies that have patent disputes, the fact that
> there is a dispute is meaningless. It is the details inside the
> disputes that are meaningful.
>
> Question is fine!
>
> iRise is a much more complex and expensive solution that ties into
> formal requirements management solutions that Axure is softer on.
> Further Axure focuses on web, while iRise has no such focus. Not that
> Axure can't be use for more than web, it is just a focus.
>
> Search for both on the list archives and you'll find a ton here.
>
> -- dave
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=31321
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

--
~ will

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

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

29 Jul 2008 - 2:16pm
Todd Warfel
2003

I've seen averages of $250k and some in excess of $2.5M. It's "an
investment."

On Jul 29, 2008, at 2:59 PM, Will Evans wrote:

> I don't remember exactly - but isn't iRise solutions in the 5 or 6
> figure
> ballpark? I remember looking into them about 2 years ago and got
> sticker
> shock - anyone know?

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

29 Jul 2008 - 2:23pm
SemanticWill
2007

Those are the numbers I have heard - now that you reminded me.

On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 3:16 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com>wrote:

> I've seen averages of $250k and some in excess of $2.5M. It's "an
> investment."
>
> On Jul 29, 2008, at 2:59 PM, Will Evans wrote:
>
> I don't remember exactly - but isn't iRise solutions in the 5 or 6 figure
>> ballpark? I remember looking into them about 2 years ago and got sticker
>> shock - anyone know?
>>
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> President, Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
>
>

29 Jul 2008 - 2:27pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Right, this is an enterprise caliber collection of tools that goes way
beyond their "simulation" system which is the prototype creation tool.
There is deep Rational level requirements management tools here. It
really isn't fair to compare it to Axure. It's like comparing Notepad
to MS Word.

-- dave

On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 3:23 PM, Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com> wrote:
> Those are the numbers I have heard - now that you reminded me.
>
> On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 3:16 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com>
> wrote:
>>
>> I've seen averages of $250k and some in excess of $2.5M. It's "an
>> investment."
>>
>> On Jul 29, 2008, at 2:59 PM, Will Evans wrote:
>>
>>> I don't remember exactly - but isn't iRise solutions in the 5 or 6 figure
>>> ballpark? I remember looking into them about 2 years ago and got sticker
>>> shock - anyone know?
>>
>>
>> Cheers!
>>
>> Todd Zaki Warfel
>> President, Design Researcher
>> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
>>
>
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

29 Jul 2008 - 2:51pm
Steve Schang
2008

iRise has a standalone edition for $6,995, it is still expensive compared
to Axure. But for individuals or smaller shops that are working with a
client who uses iRise it could be a viable alternative. Also, according to
their website they are doing a trial of an on-demand version of iRise
which I am assuming would be priced a lot less than the enterprise
version.

To me, the biggest advantage of iRise is the ability for the interaction
designer to create a fully interactive, data rich simulation. Before iRise
if we wanted an interactive simulation we needed to find a developer to
build a test environment.

We have had a lot of success using iRise simulations in our usability lab.
Recently we have also started sending the simulations to the training
department. They repurpose the simulations for class room and web based
training while the actual system is still in development.

One important feature of iRise is the ability to import spreadsheet data
into the simulation and then manipulate that data using the simulation.
This is great if you are simulating conditional logic, search functions,
CRM data, etc.

Steve Schang
Interactive Design Group | eCommerce | Wachovia Corporation

29 Jul 2008 - 4:36pm
Jennifer Hoppenrath
2006

I think my original post was rather piece-meal, so let me backtrack to my original dilemma, which I feel is a common one, to see if I can't elicit an more informed response.

We're doing more and more rich media here at Razorfish and probably elsewhere, and the old wireframe > comp > prototype methodology is proving more difficult, because while wireframes are great for static websites, they really don't express the various interactions that a rich media environment can provide. Having 20 wireframes to show the various states of one page is also cumbersome, and if you think presenting standard wireframes to clients causes eye-glaze, just try one of these. Wireframes for these projects then become more of an internal tool, although we still have to deal with these same limitations while communicating with technology and design. My last project of this type, the designers ended up making up a lot of stuff and UX then cleaned up a lot of wonky interactions afterward with last minute user testing thrown in, which worked but isn't the most efficient way to work, and in environments with less collaboration between UX and
creative, could end up even worse. (The site just goes live that way.)

I've been trying to find tools which will allow us to create 1) dynamic "wireframes" to emulate rich media, and 2) early prototypes to help guide us prior to launch. Azure and iRise both seem to do well in the latter, but poorly in the former, with one being considerably more expensive. I've toyed with just developing in interactions Flash, but that may not be realistic. I have seen a new Adobe product called Thermo (http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Thermo ) that seems to promise to solve both dilemmas, but it hasn't been released yet.

Has anyone found a better solution to this?

I appreciate your time.

Jennifer

Jennifer
Hoppenrath | SeniorInformation Architect |
Avenue A I Razorfish I direct 206 816 8497 | Jennifer.Hoppenrath at avenuea-razorfish.com

----- Original Message ----
From: Fred Beecher <fbeecher at gmail.com>
To: IxDA Discuss <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:53:11 AM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interactive prototyping

On 7/29/08, Will Evans <will at semanticfoundry.com> wrote:
>
> We aren't allowed to discuss @xure and iRi3E on this list because of the
> legal issues around one of the companies being a *^%$# and suing the other.

Oh come on, Will. : )

Discussions of both tools are perfectly valid. The issues were only with
people posting links to patents. If we're not doing that, it's all good.

With that out of the way...

Yes, iRise and Axure are similar. What are your questions exactly? I don't
know iRise in detail, so I'll let someone else actually answer them. : )

- Fred
________________________________________________________________
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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29 Jul 2008 - 6:05pm
bob mortimer
2008

Have you tried Macromedia Director ? It's an old multimedia authoring tool but with a smaller learning curve than Flash. Used it recently to mimic a Flex application (waiting for Adobe Themo to be released as well !)
- Bob

29 Jul 2008 - 7:04pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jul 29, 2008, at 5:36 PM, Jennifer Hoppenrath wrote:

> Has anyone found a better solution to this?

Jennifer,

Familiarize yourself with a good AJAX library like Prototype, JQuery,
or YUI. Couple those with some good old fashioned XHTML/CSS and you
can skip the wireframe-comp-prototype and go prototype-comp-update
prototype. We've been using this model for close to a year now. We
haven't done a single wireframe since.

HTML/CSS is easier to pick up then you might think initially. Yes, it
may take you a few days to a couple of weeks, but rest assured, in a
few weeks you'll be spinning AJAX transitions and prototyping faster
than you used to wireframe.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

29 Jul 2008 - 7:21pm
Todd Moy
2007

Hi Todd -

Not to skew the topic too much, but have you been able to move the
prototype into something designers and developers can directly build
upon? Or, have you found the prototype's code to be "throwaway"?
(Which is not to say valueless, but simply that the code needs to be
rewritten in the final piece.)

-T

On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 8:04 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
>
> On Jul 29, 2008, at 5:36 PM, Jennifer Hoppenrath wrote:
>
>> Has anyone found a better solution to this?
>
> Jennifer,
>
> Familiarize yourself with a good AJAX library like Prototype, JQuery, or
> YUI. Couple those with some good old fashioned XHTML/CSS and you can skip
> the wireframe-comp-prototype and go prototype-comp-update prototype. We've
> been using this model for close to a year now. We haven't done a single
> wireframe since.
>
> HTML/CSS is easier to pick up then you might think initially. Yes, it may
> take you a few days to a couple of weeks, but rest assured, in a few weeks
> you'll be spinning AJAX transitions and prototyping faster than you used to
> wireframe.
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> President, Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice: (215) 825-7423
> Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> Twitter: zakiwarfel
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

--
____________________________
http://www.oombrella.com
oombrella /a/ gmail.com

29 Jul 2008 - 7:34pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jul 29, 2008, at 8:21 PM, Todd Moy wrote:

> Hi Todd -
>
> Not to skew the topic too much, but have you been able to move the
> prototype into something designers and developers can directly build
> upon? Or, have you found the prototype's code to be "throwaway"?
> (Which is not to say valueless, but simply that the code needs to be
> rewritten in the final piece.)
>
> -T

While not typical for the industry, our prototypes are production
quality code and when we hand them off, engineering has been putting
them into production w/very little rework.

However, I wouldn't let that prevent you from trying — 90% or more of
the prototypes built in the software industry are throwaways. There's
still a lot of benefit that comes from throwaway prototypes.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

30 Jul 2008 - 9:59am
jrrogan
2005

We're working directly from requirements to prototype, adding in supporting
documentation of flows and wireframes only when needed, (Note a good overall
style guide helps a lot).

The tactile nature of prototypes aides greatly in articulating ideas and
displaying functionality to developers. Note prototypes do necessitate
"discovery" of functionality, which can be problematic for new
functionality, and this is where annotated diagrams shine as they're
explicit.

Prototype libraries, be they JS, CSS, HTML snippets, generic prototype, to
draw upon makes prototyping much more rapid. Note we don't use Azure or
iRise, but we do use Scriptaculous, Prototype, EXT, etc.

As far as reuse of code, this has always been a slippery slope for us, (and
everywhere I've worked). Certain elements translate well from prototype to
build, such as CSS and JS transitions, Layouts can sometimes translate
depending on what they are.

The best prototypes are rapidly changed at low cost, production code level
prototypes often do not have this flexibility. When we started focusing on
"production quality code" for the prototyping it seemed to come at the
expense of a focus on prototyping to requirements.

This caused certain designs not to be prototyped as the
"prototyping-engineering" effort was too high, (which does not necessarily
translate to overall engineering LOE being too high). Modifiying prototype
design became a cost benefit exercise, which is counter productive to the
prototype experience, (rapid, cheap, aide to discover the new and make
mistakes at low cost).

Rich

On 7/29/08, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
>
>
> On Jul 29, 2008, at 8:21 PM, Todd Moy wrote:
>
> Hi Todd -
>>
>> Not to skew the topic too much, but have you been able to move the
>> prototype into something designers and developers can directly build upon?
>> Or, have you found the prototype's code to be "throwaway"? (Which is not to
>> say valueless, but simply that the code needs to be rewritten in the final
>> piece.)
>>
>> -T
>>
>
> While not typical for the industry, our prototypes are production quality
> code and when we hand them off, engineering has been putting them into
> production w/very little rework.
>
> However, I wouldn't let that prevent you from trying — 90% or more of the
> prototypes built in the software industry are throwaways. There's still a
> lot of benefit that comes from throwaway prototypes.
>
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> President, Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice: (215) 825-7423
> Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> Twitter: zakiwarfel
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

--
Joseph Rich Rogan
President UX/UI Inc.
http://www.jrrogan.com

30 Jul 2008 - 11:18am
Fred Beecher
2006

On 7/29/08, Jennifer Hoppenrath <jenhoppenrath at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
> We're doing more and more rich media here at Razorfish and probably
> elsewhere, and the old wireframe > comp > prototype methodology is proving
> more difficult, because while wireframes are great for static websites, they
> really don't express the various interactions that a rich media environment
> can provide. Having 20 wireframes to show the various states
>

That's exactly what got me started using Axure in 2005. That and wanting to
integrate prototyping into my practice since I began, but without having the
necessary coding skills or client budgets to support a whole separate
prototyping resource on a project.

I've been trying to find tools which will allow us to create 1) dynamic
> "wireframes" to emulate rich media, and 2) early prototypes to help guide us
> prior to launch. Azure and iRise both seem to do well in the latter, but
> poorly in the former, with one being considerably more expensive.
>

Hmm. I'd say they both achieve these tasks very well. They are the raison
d'etre for both these tools. I've seen iRise demoed a few times, but my main
familiarity is with Axure. I have prototyped many many rich interactions
with the tool, and I even taught a half-day workshop on the subject at the
2007 IA Summit. Axure offers many different tools that support the creation
of rich interactions, but sometimes it takes a little creativity and
forethought in combining them to make more advanced interactions happen.

[Plug: I actually teach basic and advanced Axure prototyping classes, so if
you're interested please contact me off-list.]

Regarding which would work better for you, that's ultimately up to you to
decide. But I can tell you that I work, like you, in an agency model, and
Axure works much better for us in that situation. We took a look at iRise
but the costs for just a single license (or "seat" as they call it) were...
very, very high. And the price we were quoted was a *discount* based on our
small size. I've seen iRise used effectively in large enterprises, but never
in an agency.

I've toyed with just developing in interactions Flash, but that may not be
> realistic. I have seen a new Adobe product called Thermo (
> http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Thermo ) that seems to promise to
> solve both dilemmas, but it hasn't been released yet.
>

Ah Thermo. : ) The only prototyping tool to induce iPhone-like lust in the
IxD community. I've seen it in real life at interaction08 and it is *slick.*
I have two concerns with it though. 1) The workflow we've seen is Visual
Designer > Developer. So far, I haven't seen wireframes done in Thermo. Only
comps (imported from Photoshop). 2) How does it handle printed
documentation? On the projects I work on, clients almost always want printed
documentation, which is a big reason I use Axure. I can do my prototyping
and my documentation pretty much at the same time.

Now... responding to the folks who are saying that you need these code-based
toolkits. If you and your UX team already have coding skills, great. Check
out those toolkits. If you don't, then having a separate prototyper on your
projects use them is only slightly more efficient than someone coding a
prototype from scratch, which is the whole thing I personally am trying to
avoid.

And second, there's this debate about whether the prototype should be in a
form that can be evolved into a production system. Personally, I am strongly
against this in most situations. I strongly believe that the prototype is
the designer's playground. It is where we can be creative, test our crazy
ideas, obliterate the bad ones, and iterate on the good ones. Obviously we
should be collaborating with developers on the impact that *fully tested*
interactions will have on them, but we should be free to get all our
failures out of our system before that happens.

I imagine that there are situations where it could be efficient to intend
prototype code to evolve into a production system... very large projects
that *do* require a dedicated prototyper, etc. But most of these situations
that I've run into have been efforts that enterprises have staffed and
managed themselves.

Wow... it's a long drop from up here on this high horse... : )

Anyway, I hope this is useful to you.

- Fred

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fred Beecher
Sr. User Experience Consultant
Evantage Consulting
O: 612.230.3838 // M: 612.810.6745
IM: fbeecher at gmail.com (google/msn) // fredevc (aim/yahoo)
T: http://twitter.com/fred_beecher

30 Jul 2008 - 2:44pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jul 30, 2008, at 12:18 PM, Fred Beecher wrote:

> And second, there's this debate about whether the prototype should
> be in a form that can be evolved into a production system.
> Personally, I am strongly against this in most situations. I
> strongly believe that the prototype is
> the designer's playground. It is where we can be creative, test our
> crazy ideas, obliterate the bad ones, and iterate on the good ones.
> Obviously we should be collaborating with developers on the impact
> that *fully tested* interactions will have on them, but we should be
> free to get all our failures out of our system before that happens.

Even though most of our prototypes these days are being recycled for
production, I'm inclined to agree w/Fred. I don't think prototypes
need to be created with the end goal of being used for production.
It's a nice to have, but not a must have. In fact, in a survey I ran
last month for people who prototype, creating reusable code was ranked
10th, when asked what factors were most important for a prototyping
tool. Incidentally, the top three were 1) Time and effort to produce a
working prototype 2) Creating a usable prototype for testing 3) Price.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
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In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

5 Aug 2008 - 11:07am
pyces
2007

In my experience, irise is incredibly difficult to use (to give you an
idea of how difficult - I have a BS in Computer Systems and an MS in HF
in Info Design and have worked in software for 10 years, so I'm pretty
technical and adept at learning software quickly), has a very steep
learning curve, the product does not behave the way you would expect it
to, simple functions are not so cleverly hidden away so that what should
take you a few minutes can take hours. It is very frustrating to use.
However, with it, you can create what appear to be fully interactive
prototypes that can wow your stakeholders and get buy-in from executive
management. However, there is absolutely no code behind it. Although you
can tie screen elements (controls) to requirements, this doesn't work
well for us, as the tool really isn't made for extensive documentation
and allows no formatting besides an outline. We basically have had to
resort to creating the irise simulation, then spending several more days
or weeks creating a UI spec which our web writers and UAT can actually
use. These groups were very unhappy interacting with irise and there
was a lot of pushback. For fully interactive simulations, be prepared to
spend hundreds of hours on something that would take days in Visio. This
tool is basically programming lite, but even more or at least just as
difficult because the tool never behaves as expected and important
functions and features are extremely hidden, while other important ones
just aren't available in this tool. For example, to select a table to
delete it, you have to know that in the bottom right of the tool (in the
status bar location), there is a tiny breadcrumb that shows the table >
table row > table cell (except the default for these names are obviously
not nearly as intuitive), and you have to click table to select the
table. It will look on the screen like the table's selected, but ou can
try to delete the selected area (which is actually just the cell or row,
but there is no way to tell visually) to your heart's discontent, and
never will the tool provide any feedback besides not doing what it's
been told to do, it won't say something obvious like, "hey, you have to
select the table itself to delete the table, right now the cell is only
selected". Additionally, I spoke to others in my alumni group from near
Boston and all but one of those colleagues who had dealt with irise said
that their company eventually discarded it due to the steep learning
curve, dissatisfaction with the tool, no code to show for all the effort
(absolutely no HTML code is generated by all that work, so
designers/developers have to start from scratch) and relatively low ROI.

Courtney

> Is anyone here famililar with iRise? It seems similar to Axure.
> http://www.irise.com/products/2007_tours/index.php
> Jennifer Hoppenrath | SeniorInformation Architect | Avenue A I
> Razorfish I direct 206 816 8497 | cell 206 724 3307
>
> \
>
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