Sketching with PowerPoint? Was: How is MS doingPrototyping?

22 Feb 2006 - 11:15am
8 years ago
7 replies
482 reads
John Vaughan - ...
2004

> [can anybody recommend
> a way to get that sketchty appearance without having to use Illustrator
> etc?
> *fredrik ampler*

A Modest Proposal

Have you considered pencil & paper? Sounds snotty, but - really - I'm
serious. "Appropriate tools for the job", etc.

Attached here are some examples of pencil & marker maps from a project
waaaaaaay back in 1981, when we didn't have any of that newfangled
techno-tomfoolery.

(harumph)

John Vaughan
The Communication Studio LLC
email: vaughan1 at optonline.net
website: http://www.jcvtcs.com
115 Minnehaha Blvd
Lake Hiawatha, NJ 07034
Voice: (973) 265-4684
Fax: (917) 591-8667
Cell: 973-886-1269
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Comments

22 Feb 2006 - 11:26am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

I'm with you, John. I thought the same thing when I read Fredrik's
post, but assumed he had his reasons for wanting to do it directly in
the software. My process almost always involves scanning in hand
sketches. I've even created interactive prototypes in Director with
sketches.

Jack

On Feb 22, 2006, at 11:15 AM, John Vaughan wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
>> [can anybody recommend
>> a way to get that sketchty appearance without having to use
>> Illustrator etc?
>> *fredrik ampler*
>
> A Modest Proposal
>
> Have you considered pencil & paper? Sounds snotty, but - really -
> I'm serious. "Appropriate tools for the job", etc.

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

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22 Feb 2006 - 12:05pm
Todd Warfel
2003

Hehe. I just gave a talk on Paper Prototyping to the NYC UPA group
last night and I'll be teaching a workshop on it this year at the
Summit of anyone's interested.

Paper can be great for this kind of thing.

On Feb 22, 2006, at 11:15 AM, John Vaughan wrote:

> A Modest Proposal
>
> Have you considered pencil & paper? Sounds snotty, but - really -
> I'm serious. "Appropriate tools for the job", etc.

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | designing and usability consulting
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (607) 339-9640
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
--------------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

22 Feb 2006 - 12:26pm
Josh Seiden
2003

> > Have you considered pencil & paper? Sounds
> > snotty, but - really -
> > I'm serious. "Appropriate tools for the job",

There is value to be found between stops on the
fidelity scale.

Powerpoint (which I often use for early-stage
sketches) makes it easy to communicate state changes.
You place two or more drawings in sequence and page
through them in slide show mode--instant dynamic
mockup.

The problem is that when you use high-fidelity
drawings for this kind of mockup in PPT, you sometimes
create a too-powerful effect. This is the thrust of
Frederik's query, I think.

Of course you can use pencil and paper, but then
iterating becomes a pain. When you're trying to create
the illusion of state change, you really want to have
every element except the changing one to be
identical--and that is harder to do with pencil and
paper.

Of course, while powerpoint offers better ability to
iterate than pencil and paper (because you can copy
and paste), it breaks down for more complex
iterations, because it doesn't really support re-use
of objects. For that you need to move to the next
level of tool.

To answer frederik's original query:

> can anybody recommend a way to get
> that sketchty appearance without
> having to use Illustrator etc?

I've never seen a way to do this. Sometimes, I overlay
extension lines--but mostly I just try to keep it
simple with the native PPT tools.

JS

22 Feb 2006 - 3:03pm
John Vaughan - ...
2004

TW>Hehe. I just gave a talk on Paper Prototyping to the NYC UPA group last night and I'll be teaching a workshop on it this year at the Summit of anyone's interested.

Todd

Interested. Can you provide bullets/overview?

John

----- Original Message -----
From: Todd Warfel
To: John Vaughan
Cc: Fredrik Ampler ; discuss at ixda.org
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 12:05 PM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Sketching with PowerPoint? Was: How is MS doingPrototyping?

Hehe. I just gave a talk on Paper Prototyping to the NYC UPA group last night and I'll be teaching a workshop on it this year at the Summit of anyone's interested.

Paper can be great for this kind of thing.

On Feb 22, 2006, at 11:15 AM, John Vaughan wrote:

A Modest Proposal

Have you considered pencil & paper? Sounds snotty, but - really - I'm serious. "Appropriate tools for the job", etc.

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | designing and usability consulting
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (607) 339-9640
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
--------------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

22 Feb 2006 - 3:50pm
Lada Gorlenko
2004

JM> I'm with you, John. I thought the same thing when I read Fredrik's
JM> post, but assumed he had his reasons for wanting to do it directly in
JM> the software. My process almost always involves scanning in hand
JM> sketches. I've even created interactive prototypes in Director with
JM> sketches.

I would argue in favour of whiteboard over paper for evolving
sketches: easier to make changes as you sketch.

Answering Fredrik's original question: SMART Board
http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Products/SMART+Boards/default.htm

Lada

22 Feb 2006 - 4:09pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Feb 22, 2006, at 3:50 PM, Lada Gorlenko wrote:

> I would argue in favour of whiteboard over paper for evolving
> sketches: easier to make changes as you sketch.

But a whiteboard is much lower fidelity, and a digital whiteboard is
much more expensive. As for making changes, a pencil eraser works
just fine, although some would argue that you should never erase
while sketching. Sketching is a form of brainstorming, and erasing is
equivalent to throwing out ideas during the brainstorm.

I would say that a whiteboard is more appropriate in a group setting,
when details don't need to be represented. Pencil is more appropriate
when working alone and when a finer level of detail is desired. I've
used pencil sketches to implement prototypes many times, but I'd
never user whiteboard drawings to do the same.

Jack

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

Questions about whether design
is necessary or affordable
are quite beside the point:
design is inevitable.

The alternative to good design
is bad design, not no design at all.

- Douglas Martin

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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.
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23 Feb 2006 - 11:11am
John Vaughan - ...
2004

Gabriel White> It's time consuming to create the tools, but you can get some
damn
> excellent results.
> (www.gabrielwhite.com/ixdapptmockup/pptmockup_example.gif)

Very nice stuff (check it out), and clearly the result of much work. I have
to wonder, tho - Isn't this the point at which we should consider doing the
design itself in HTML?

Recap, as I see it:

Whiteboards & smartboards are great for dynamic presentations to lots of
people, assuming that you've got all the necessary technology in the first
place, and can put them together with the audience.

Paper & pencil is appropriate for quick, informal, spontaneous "corner of
the napkin" prototyping. You can carry both the tools and the output in
your pocket.

Both techniques lend themselves to brainstorming and easy editing. Neither
technique pretends to be "high fidelity".

But "managing client expectations" is always a balancing act : At some
point the stakeholders want to see a model with more meat. At some point we
need to turn those two-dimensional sketches into an "intelligent slideshow"
/ "shallow prototype" which usually displays:

* valid - if dummy - data (is it realistic?)
* workflow navigation (does it perform tasks?)
* screen-level behaviors (is it easy to use, friendly?)
* nominal styling (is it our brand?)

That's the point at which Visio, Director, Photoshop, Powerpoint or whatever
tries to emulate the browser platform (assuming you're designing for the
Web, tho the same applies to any other implementation platform). IMHO: Why
bother? When you get to that point, why not just invest the same effort to
model in HTML itself?

UX Design on the HTML model platform has several advantages:
* Less redundant effort
* Produce potentially re-usable code and design elements
* Potentially leverage existing logic code & feeds
* Internally scalable (you can use Gabriel's graphic images initially as
placeholders - later replace them as operational widgets)
* Design is easily shareable/publishable as a "live" website
* Short-circuit the "Tower of Babble" syndrome in the design process
* Kick-start the creation of CSS, templates, graphics in web environment
* UX establishes (literal) ownership of the UI; define boundaries of
responsibility & authority
* Cements UX credibility with management as true value-added (rather than
"overhead")

Your thoughts?

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