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1

How to use PowerPoint for prototyping

Jensen Harris from Microsoft has posted a small practical tutorial on how to use PowerPoint for prototyping. Paste screenshots of the different interaction states into PowerPoint, use transparent shapes as link areas and put a static frame into the master background, so that you only need to put the interface elements which changes on each slide.

In Harris' opinion, the technique has several advantages compared to paper prototypes. Prototypes build in PowerPoint feel somewhat interactive, they can be modified more easily, and computer enabled prototypes feel more natural to usability test participants.

Of course, this method is rather primitive compared to prototyping with Visio.

Links:

  • Prototyping With PowerPoint

Henrik Olsen - February 27, 2006

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (32) 


 

2

Easy site diagramming

Stephen Turbek shows how to save time on site diagramming using either Excel and Visio or Word and Inspiration.

"Use these lazy techniques and spend your time on better and more interesting problems than lining up little boxes!"

Links:

  • The Lazy IA's Guide to Making Sitemaps

Henrik Olsen - February 01, 2006

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See also: Site and flow diagramming (4)  Information architecture (12) 


 

3

Idea generation methods

Martin Leith has published a list of all the idea generation methods he's encountered during the past 15 years. Each method is described and some have full instructions on how to use them to generate ideas.

Links:

  • The site All Know Idea Generation Methods

Henrik Olsen - September 19, 2005 - via Column Two

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See also: Requirement Analysis (12)  Websites (9) 


 

4

Tools for Information Architects

The Information Architecture Institute has a nice section full of tools for Information Architects and Interaction Designers. You will find document and wireframing templates, process maps posters, presentations, introduction brochures, and other tools to help you in your practice.

Links:

  • The tools section at IA Institute

Henrik Olsen - August 25, 2005

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See also: Personas (13)  Prototyping and wireframing (32) 


 

5

Review of Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey is an tool for creating online surveys. In his review Ken Westing from Digital Web Magazine has the following to say about it:

- Easy to use even for non-technical folks
- Flexible when creating questions and accessing survey results
- Offers e-mail lists for custom invitations
- Customization of the design is limited
- Lacks account for multiple users
- Great product for the price
- Offers a free limited account that stores 100 responses

P.S: My friend Jens Hørup would instantly stop hosting GUUUI if I dared to write about Survey Monkey without mentioning his survey tool Dubidu.

Links:

  • Review of Survey Monkey

Henrik Olsen - August 23, 2005

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6

Collection of interface design patterns

Jenifer Tidwell has created a collection of design patterns for websites, desktop application, "and everything in between."

"They're common problems, and there's no point in reinventing the wheel every time you need, say, a sortable table -- plenty of folks have already done it, and learned how to do it well. Some of that knowledge is written up here, in an easily-digestible format."

"If you're running short on ideas, or hung up on a difficult design quandary, read over these and see if any of them are applicable."

Links:

  • UI Patterns and Techniques

Henrik Olsen - May 27, 2005 - via Column Two

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See also: Design patterns (4) 


 

7

Creating interactive prototypes with Adobe Acrobat

In a two-part article Dave Rogers from gotomedia explains how to build interactive prototypes in PDF by creating your pages in your favourite prototyping tool (e.g. Visio) and linking them together in Adobe Acrobat.

It sounds a bit cumbersome to me compared to exporting your pages to HTML directly from your prototyping tool (as explained in my article Visio - The interaction designer's nail gun). But the approach has the advantage that you can build working forms in Acrobat.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - May 26, 2005 - via Column Two

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (32) 


 

8

Encyclopedia of interaction design

Mads Soegaard has started an open-content, peer-reviewed encyclopedia covering terms from the disciplines of Interaction Design, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Design, Human Factors, Usability, Information Architecture, and related fields.

The encyclopedia is not as comprehensive as the Usability Glossary (yet) but terms are explained in more detail.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - March 28, 2005

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See also: Glossaries (2) 


 

9

Test review of Morae

NetworkWorldFusion has tested Morae, a software tool for usability analysis from TechSmith that records video and audio of the users along with system data (e.g. mouse clicks, keystrokes, web page changes). Their overall rating is "very good".

Pros:
- Affordable
- Annotates collected data indicating web page changes, mouse clicks, keystrokes, text data appearing on screen, and window events such as opening and closing applications

Cons:
- Remote monitoring and management capabilities could be improved
- Captured data can get quite large (in the gigabyte range)
- Only supports Windows and prefers Internet Explorer

Links:

  • More about Morae at TechSmith.com
  • Review of Morae Recorder

Henrik Olsen - February 09, 2005

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See also: Usability testing (30) 


 

10

Card sorting tools

DonnaM has posted a short summary of seven computer-based card sorting tools. She took a closer look at the two most promising. Her conclusion is:
- IBM's USort was as annoying
- CardZort is nice

Links:

  • The post Card sorting tools - final summary

Henrik Olsen - October 24, 2004

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See also: Card sorting (8) 


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