How is MS doing Prototyping?

20 Feb 2006 - 2:04pm
8 years ago
18 replies
555 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

Well at least the Office 12 group:
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/02/20/535444.aspx

It talks about how they are using PowerPoint to short cut prototyping.

I find this funny b/c you'd think they would just use Visio. ;)

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org/
Dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
Dave (at) synapticburn (dot) com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk(at)hotmail.com || GTalk:
dheller(at)gmail.com

Comments

20 Feb 2006 - 3:04pm
Greg Petroff
2004

Don't laugh. I have seen some amazing ui prototyping work done in ppt. And
you can animate some components to give a rough interactive storyboard with
greater ease then visio. Not my cup of tea but I have seen those who have
mastered it do nice things.

--gp

On 2/20/06, David Heller <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Well at least the Office 12 group:
> http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/02/20/535444.aspx
>
> It talks about how they are using PowerPoint to short cut prototyping.
>
> I find this funny b/c you'd think they would just use Visio. ;)
>
> -- dave
>
> David Heller
> http://synapticburn.com/
> http://ixdg.org/
> Dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
> Dave (at) synapticburn (dot) com
> AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk(at)hotmail.com ||
> GTalk:
> dheller(at)gmail.com
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
Gregory Petroff
Mobile # 646 387 2841

20 Feb 2006 - 3:25pm
hj
2005

I sometimes use powerpoint for prototyping. You can get quite advanced UI behaviour with it ... context menus, 'active' buttons (via invisible hot spots), etc.

I use it in conjunction with Paint (another 'simple' tool), photoshop, etc to create appropriate images.

Once, I created a detailed demo with it and presented it to customers. At the end, several asked if they could take have it there and then even though I told them it was a demo. They completely forgot, or didn't even realise, it was PPT.

I never got on with Visio ... I found it constrained me too much for what I wanted, and I didn't feel inclined to spend the time to learn it more to see if/how it could work.

PPT works for me.

- h

-----Original Message-----
From: Gregory Petroff

Don't laugh. I have seen some amazing ui prototyping work done in ppt. And
you can animate some components to give a rough interactive storyboard with
greater ease then visio. Not my cup of tea but I have seen those who have
mastered it do nice things.

On 2/20/06, David Heller <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
>
> It talks about how they are using PowerPoint to short cut prototyping.
>
> I find this funny b/c you'd think they would just use Visio. ;)

20 Feb 2006 - 3:42pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

Since this subject has come up again, I have to satisfy my curiosity.
During the many discussions about prototyping tools, I've seen nobody
say that they use Macromedia Director. I've been using it for UI
prototyping since 1996 and until recently thought that it was a
common tool for IxDers. Is there anyone else out there using it?

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Charles Eames was asked the question,
"What are the boundaries of design?"

He answered,

"What are the boundaries of problems?"

- Charles Eames

***********************************************************************
Confidentiality Note: The information contained in this email and document(s) attached are for the exclusive use of the addressee and contains confidential, privileged and non-disclosable information. If the recipient of this email is not the addressee, such recipient is strictly prohibited from reading, photocopying, distributing or otherwise using this email or its contents in any way.
***********************************************************************

20 Feb 2006 - 3:45pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I have a question for *you* Jack.
What does Director give you as a prototyping tool for standard 2D screen
design that Flash wouldn't? What do you think is particularly special about
Director as a prototyping tool that would have you suggest it (not that you
did) ... Just curious.

-- dave

On 2/20/06 3:42 PM, "Jack Moffett" <jmoffett at inmedius.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
> Since this subject has come up again, I have to satisfy my curiosity.
> During the many discussions about prototyping tools, I've seen nobody
> say that they use Macromedia Director. I've been using it for UI
> prototyping since 1996 and until recently thought that it was a
> common tool for IxDers. Is there anyone else out there using it?
>
> Jack
>
>
> Jack L. Moffett
> Interaction Designer
> inmedius
> 412.690.2360 x219
> http://www.inmedius.com
>
>
> Charles Eames was asked the question,
> "What are the boundaries of design?"
>
> He answered,
>
> "What are the boundaries of problems?"
>
> - Charles Eames
>
>
>
> ***********************************************************************
> Confidentiality Note: The information contained in this email and document(s)
> attached are for the exclusive use of the addressee and contains confidential,
> privileged and non-disclosable information. If the recipient of this email is
> not the addressee, such recipient is strictly prohibited from reading,
> photocopying, distributing or otherwise using this email or its contents in
> any way.
> ***********************************************************************
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org/
Dave (at) ixdg (dot) org
Dave (at) synapticburn (dot) com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk(at)hotmail.com || GTalk:
dheller(at)gmail.com

20 Feb 2006 - 4:14pm
Markus Grupp-TM
2006

> Since this subject has come up again, I have to satisfy my curiosity.
> During the many discussions about prototyping tools, I've seen nobody say that they use Macromedia Director. I've been
> using it for UI prototyping since 1996 and until recently thought that it was a common tool for IxDers. Is there anyone
> else out there using it?

Jack,

I had used Director for UI prototyping from the late 1990s until about a year ago :-(

The reason that we (the agency I worked for at the time) abandoned Director as our prototyping tool of choice was due to the lack of IxDs with Director/ Lingo skills. We found that it was becoming difficult to evolve and refine existing prototypes, as IxDs moved on and off of projects.

Dave, to as why we used Director that long... mostly had to do with personal preference. Functionality-wise, I don't see advantages in Director over Flash, at least for 2D prototypes.

Markus

20 Feb 2006 - 4:19pm
Mal
2005

> I had used Director for UI prototyping from the late 1990s until about
> a year ago :-(
>
>
This might be of interest to you... Bungie used Director to prototype
the screens for Halo.

http://www.bungie.net/News/TopStory.aspx?story=weeklyupdatejan27th&p=6031447

Regards...
Mal

20 Feb 2006 - 4:21pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Feb 20, 2006, at 3:45 PM, David Heller wrote:

> I have a question for *you* Jack.
> What does Director give you as a prototyping tool for standard 2D
> screen
> design that Flash wouldn't? What do you think is particularly
> special about
> Director as a prototyping tool that would have you suggest it (not
> that you
> did) ... Just curious.

A fair question.

First of all, I learned how to use the software years before Flash
existed. As an expert user, who is proficient in Lingo, Director's
scripting language, I have been able to accomplish about anything
I've wanted to do. I have never been put in a situation where I had
to learn Flash (and haven't taken the time to do it for fun). So far,
I have always been in a position to choose my tools, rather than
having them dictated by someone else. So, for me, it's a matter of
experience and comfort. Furthermore, I use Director to create media-
rich presentations of software in use, something that I would argue
that it is better than Flash for, so it does double-duty in my toolbox.

But that doesn't actually answer your question. Having only a basic
knowledge of Flash, I may make some statements here that are
incorrect. Please feel free to correct me (as I know you all will).
I've created some very robust prototypes with Director that, while
they can probably be duplicated with Flash's current capabilities,
couldn't have been implemented in Flash at the time (1998-2001). One
prototype integrated with a "synthetic interview" application,
exchanging information about selections made and questions asked.
Another ran on a wearable computer controlled with a unique input
device. Another one accepted commands from speech recognition software.

I like the ability to easily produce self-contained executables for
multiple operating systems. I believe Flash requires a separate
player to run.

I have also included video content in prototypes, something that
Flash wasn't intended for (but it's capabilities have improved).

In a nutshell, I consider Director to be more robust. If I needed to
accomplish something specific, there was a greater chance that I
could do it in Director. Perhaps Flash has caught up. I know it's
scripting language has improved greatly over the years. I've always
considered Flash to be best for web-based delivery, and Director to
be better for anything else. I get the feeling that may no longer be
the case. Hence, my curiosity.

This is starting to make me feel old.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

The public is more familiar with
bad design than good design.
It is, in effect, conditioned
to prefer bad design, because
that is what it lives with.
The new becomes threatening,
the old reassuring.

- Paul Rand

***********************************************************************
Confidentiality Note: The information contained in this email and document(s) attached are for the exclusive use of the addressee and contains confidential, privileged and non-disclosable information. If the recipient of this email is not the addressee, such recipient is strictly prohibited from reading, photocopying, distributing or otherwise using this email or its contents in any way.
***********************************************************************

20 Feb 2006 - 5:09pm
drewbam
2004

Jack,

As a fellow Director die-hard, I, too, am beginning to feel old. There are
two industrial designers in our office who are also Director users, but, I
find that anyone in the UI/Interaction Design field who is under 30
(especially those who got their start in Web-related design) is using Flash
for the same types of projects these days. There are a few things that
Director is better at (anything related to the local file system, or
requiring a fancy Xtra comes to mind), but we routinely build complex
software interaction prototypes in Flash. Occasionally, I have had success
with some of our designers building components in Flash, which I then build
into a Director presentation, but, in the long run, I believe that I will
have to learn Flash, or hire more Flash prototypers in order to be fully
integrated with the rest of the team.

The good news from my particular design niche (hand-held consumer
electronics) is that there are more and more portable devices that can run
Flash. This makes protyping handheld devices (such as PDA's, mobile phones,
and cameras) a much simpler process than the old method of bulding a
tethered prototype with Director and a PC.

d|b

On 2/20/06, Jack Moffett <jmoffett at inmedius.com> wrote:
>
>
> This is starting to make me feel old.
>
> Jack

20 Feb 2006 - 7:30pm
Navneet Nair
2004

I agree director used to be more suited for prototypes that simulated
a desktop environment. However over the years Flash has really caught
up and these days there is not to much that director offers pvr flash
except for a cool 3D renderer.

That said, does the choice of prototyping tool really matter. I've
used almost all the tools mentioned here and more.

Powerpoint, visio, flash, director, html, image editors, and even excel...

If you're comfortable with the tool, and can convey the idea the best
using it, why worry about what the industry standard is?

Cheers
Navneet

--
----------------------------------------------------
Navneet Nair
Interaction Architect
onClipEvent: form follows function();
----------------------------------------------------
Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
Blog: http://www.onclipevent.com/enterframe/

20 Feb 2006 - 9:24pm
AlokJain
2006

>> does the choice of prototyping tool really matter.

We have also applied several tools for prototyping and I find these to be of
varying effectiveness depending on what stage we apply them.

If we are at early stage when design patterns have not been defined well, or
concepts are being experimented with, tools like powerpoint have been very
effective for us - they provide enough flexibility to quickly generate
pages, small amounts of interactions and notes for revision etc.

Once the base model is frozen, we find moving to HTML based model is
beneficial in long run, as we have a strong interaction design pattern
library that can be reused when prototyping. It increases productivity in
our experience. Also using templates and library features offered by tools
like dreamweaver makes it easier for large number of changes to be done
fairly quickly. Working in larger teams collaboratively also is better
supported with this model.

When HTML does not work for us is RIA kind of implementations, these become
complex to handle with HTML, hence we move towards Flash kind of tools. We
could use flash in previous stage (where we use HTML) also, however there
are additional benefits in productivity if we use HTML.

Best Regards
Alok Jain
----------------------------------------------
Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
http://www.satyam.com
IxDA Washington DC Coordinator

20 Feb 2006 - 10:09pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

It's also funny because the first bullet point says:

"Put screenshots of all of the different UI states you want to test
onto different slides."

Um ... screenshots? Where'd you get those, Jensen?

-r-

On 2/20/06, David Heller <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Well at least the Office 12 group:
> http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/02/20/535444.aspx
>
> It talks about how they are using PowerPoint to short cut prototyping.
>
> I find this funny b/c you'd think they would just use Visio. ;)
>
> -- dave

20 Feb 2006 - 10:13pm
Navneet Nair
2004

On 2/21/06, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <mmbeta at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> Um ... screenshots? Where'd you get those, Jensen?

Photoshop?

----------------------------------------------------
> Navneet Nair
> Interaction Architect
> onClipEvent: form follows function();
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
> Blog: http://www.onclipevent.com/enterframe/
>

20 Feb 2006 - 10:19pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

Sorry, let me clarify why I think it's funny. In my world, "mockups"
and "comps" come from PS, while screenshots are snapshots taken with
screen-capture software. So it would be awfully difficult to take
screenshots unless the tool was already in production or already
exists, in which case, it's far too late to start thinking about a
prototype.

But yeah, I understand he probably means the same thing. Just thought
the wording was funny.

-r-

On 2/20/06, Navneet Nair <navneet.nair at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> On 2/21/06, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <mmbeta at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Um ... screenshots? Where'd you get those, Jensen?
>
>
> Photoshop?
>
>
>
> > ----------------------------------------------------
> > Navneet Nair
> > Interaction Architect
> > onClipEvent: form follows function();
> > ----------------------------------------------------
> > Website: http://www.onclipevent.com
> > Blog: http://www.onclipevent.com/enterframe/
> >
>

20 Feb 2006 - 10:23pm
Navneet Nair
2004

I agree it's just a terminology issue. I would concur on your interpretation
of the terminology. But the technique outlined does work pretty well,
especially when you're making a presentation to your suited stakeholders,
who are put at ease when the see PowerPoint ;)

Cheers
Navneet

On 2/21/06, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <mmbeta at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Sorry, let me clarify why I think it's funny. In my world, "mockups"
> and "comps" come from PS, while screenshots are snapshots taken with
> screen-capture software. So it would be awfully difficult to take
> screenshots unless the tool was already in production or already
> exists, in which case, it's far too late to start thinking about a
> prototype.
>
> But yeah, I understand he probably means the same thing. Just thought
> the wording was funny.
>
> -r-
>
>

20 Feb 2006 - 11:01pm
Sharad Solanki
2005

I came across few designers using Microsoft Excel for making html screens. They use the power of tables to define the grid, put the widgets in the cells and simulate the behavior through the links in the worksheet.

For the rich client, I found the GUI design software by http://www.carettasoftware.com/ to be a good way to get the things done faster keeping the interaction.

Sharad Solanki
SAS

21 Feb 2006 - 12:40pm
AlokJain
2006

>> I came across few designers using Microsoft Excel for making html screens

We found using excel is effective in image mockups/designs as well. It
allows for tabular data to formatted (fonts colors, size etc) and then one
can copy and paste it into a s/w like Photoshop. Ofcourse table is editable
in excel, so updates are easy.

Regards
Alok Jain
---------------------------------------------
Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
http://www.satyam.com

21 Feb 2006 - 1:10pm
ldebett
2004

Director actually can give you control over hardware if you have the
appropriate plugin (I forget the official name for them now). I used
Director for quite a while in prototyping many home entertainment products
for Bose. It was great b/c I could actually drive a real CD player, an
external Tuner, etc., and have live music and a richer experience.
Flash/Actionscript doesn't allow for that.

~Lisa

On 2/20/06, David Heller <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I have a question for *you* Jack.
> What does Director give you as a prototyping tool for standard 2D screen
> design that Flash wouldn't? What do you think is particularly special
> about
> Director as a prototyping tool that would have you suggest it (not that
> you
> did) ... Just curious.
>
>
> -- dave
>
>
>

21 Feb 2006 - 11:23pm
Deepak Pakhare
2005

Assuming it's used in the early stages during UI/IxDesign, a very handy
advantage of prototyping in MS Excel is that one can add comments and place
them in any area of the design to specifically point at a particular UI
element and discuss options even remotely. One can see how quickly it
becomes an iterative+collaborative tool.

Regards,
Deepak Pakhare

On 2/21/06, Alok Jain <alok.ajain1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> >> I came across few designers using Microsoft Excel for making html
> screens
>
> We found using excel is effective in image mockups/designs as well. It
> allows for tabular data to formatted (fonts colors, size etc) and then one
> can copy and paste it into a s/w like Photoshop. Ofcourse table is
> editable
> in excel, so updates are easy.
>
> Regards
> Alok Jain
> ---------------------------------------------
> Satyam Computer Services Ltd.
> http://www.satyam.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

Syndicate content Get the feed