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101

Prototyping ends the war between clients and developers

In his online book, Client vs. Developers Wars, Eric Holter explains how time commonly wasted in miscommunication during web projects can be poured into actually improving sites by incorporating prototyping into the design process. He tells the woeful tale of conflicts and negative experience, which everybody involved in web development know all too well, and shows how the power of interaction design can change the dynamics of the web design process.

The book is free for download. A must read for interaction designers.

Links:

  • The online book Client vs. Developer Wars Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 19, 2004

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See also: Online books (5)  Books (47) 


 

102

Use Cases and interaction design

Use cases are widely used in large projects to capture the functional requirements of software systems. The Q2 2004 issue of GUUUI looks at how uses cases can serve as a powerful tool for brainstorming workflows and bridging the gaps between design and development.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - April 01, 2004

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See also: GUUUI articles (11)  Use Cases (3) 


 

103

Bridging use cases and interaction design

Use cases are widely used during the analysis phase of a project to model user requirements. In the hands of interaction designers, use cases can be a powerful tool to guide interface design. But use cases was originally developed to support the design of software components, and are often used in a way that is not well suited for supporting interaction design.

In this reprint from the book Object-Modeling and User Interface Design, Larry L. Constantine and Lucy A. D. Lockwood suggest an approach to use cases, which forms a more solid bridge between requirements analysis and interaction design, and between design and implementation.

Links:

  • The book chapter Structure and Style in Use Cases for User Interface Design Open link in new window
  • The book at Amazon.com Open link in new window
  • The book at Amazon.co.uk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 13, 2004

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See also: Use Cases (3) 


 

104

Magnetic interface design toolkit

Building prototypes with this tool might not be ideal, but it could be useful for workshops and brainstorms - if it's big enough. Anyway, here you can buy your very own Magnetic Interface Design Toolkit

Links:

  • The Magnetic Interface Design Toolkit Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 21, 2003 - via EASE

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See also: Funny tools and games (12)  Tools (106) 


 

105

New Version of DENIM Available

Berkeley's Group for User Interface Research have released version 1.1 of DENIM, a visual prototyping system for early stage website design.

The two changes of note are that the input system (SILK) is much more responsive and you can now print the prototypes.

DENIM is designed for sketching of prototypes - a graphics tablet is highly recommended.

Links:

Tim Lucas - April 30, 2003

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See also: Tools (106) 


 

106

Wireframing tool for Dreamweaver

For those who prefer to design prototypes in HTML, Eric Ott's wireframing extension for Dreamweaver might be useful. Using this tool, you don't have to struggle with tables to design your page layouts, since it relies on layers. You drag-and-drop interface elements from the objects tool bar onto the pages.

According to Eric Ott, the extension adds the best of Visio and Illustrator in Dreamweaver. I would love to do prototypes in HTML, but I still find Visio more effective.

Links:

  • Download the Wireframing extension (search for Wireframing) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 10, 2003

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See also: Tools (106) 


 

107

Visio or HTML for Wireframes

Jeff Gothelf on the pros and cons of using HTML versus Visio for prototyping:

"Design organizations inevitably run across the debate of Visio versus HTML wireframes. The decision for one over the other is never a clear-cut one since, as with all things IA-related, it depends. This article seeks to sort out the issues by describing the pros and cons of each and identifying situations where one may be more effective than the other."

Links:

  • The article Practical Applications: Visio or HTML for Wireframes Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 28, 2003

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See also: Tools (106) 


 

108

DENIM, a Sketch-based Web Site Prototyping Tool

Through a study of web site design practice, the Group for User Interface Research at Berkeley University observed that web site designers design sites at different levels of refinement (site map, storyboard, and individual page) and that designers sketch at all levels during the early stages of design. However, existing web design tools do not support these tasks very well.

Informed by these observations, they created DENIM, a tool that helps web site designers in the early stages of design.

DENIM supports sketching input, allows design at different refinement levels, and unifies the levels through zooming.

Supported platforms:
- Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, or XP
- Mac OS X 10.1 (10.0 is not supported)
- Solaris, Linux, and other Unix-like operating systems

Links:

  • The DENIM Web Site Open link in new window
  • Try an exported DENIM Web Site Prototype Open link in new window

Pieter-Jan Pruuost - December 06, 2002

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See also: Tools (106) 


 

109

Greek text

Greek text can be helpful when designing initial design comps and prototypes, where the actual content isn't important. 4guysfromrolla.com has developed a neat little thing, which can generate a specified number of fake latin paragraphs for you.

Jakob Nielsen has an article about how greeked text can come in handy, when you want to test how easy users can identify the location of different content areas in different layout templates.

Links:

  • The fake latin text generator Open link in new window
  • The article Testing Whether Web Page Templates are Helpful Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 27, 2002

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See also: Tools (106) 


 

110

Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web

In the introduction, Christina Wodtke claims that her book on IA isn't for people doing IA for a living since "most of it will probably be old hat." It might be true, that her book won't make a revolution for the IA field, but it is very enlightening to read about Wodtke's practical use of the techniques and principles of IA. And there's no armchair theory here. Everything is backed up by cases, examples, and practical advice on how to make everything work in the real world.

The book concentrates on traditional IA practices, such as:
- User research
- Organising content
- Card sorting
- Personas, scenarios and task analysis
- Site and flow diagramming
- Wireframing and storyboarding

At the end of the book, you'll also find some she-devil tricks on how to persuade you boss and co-workers to do things your way. Highly revealing - my girlfriend is never going to fool me again.

Links:

  • The book at amazon.com Open link in new window
  • The book at amazon.co.uk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 14, 2002

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Books (47)  Site and flow diagramming (6)  Card sorting (13)  The design process (24)  Personas (19)  User research (23)  Usability testing (68) 


 

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