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Microsoft builds prototypes in PowerPoint

According to Long Zheng, PowerPoint is becoming a popular prototyping tool inside Microsoft. Parts of Windows, Windows Live, Internet Explorer, Home Server and Expression Blend have been prototyped in PowerPoint.

You can watch a talk by Manuel Clement, a lead at the Microsoft Design team, about prototyping with PowerPoint 2007. You can also download the PowerPoint prototyping toolkit and try it out yourself.


  • Microsoft Design prototyping with PowerPoint Open link in new window
  • Talk by Manuel Clement about prototyping with PowerPoint 2007 (video) Open link in new window
  • PowerPoint Prototyping Toolkit for PowerPoint 2007 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 08, 2008

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Paper prototype case study

Here's a great video of a guy slamming together a paper prototype at a cafe and having the waitress test it. The video is a great example of how fast paper prototyping can show you that your design sucks.


  • Joe Arnold's paper prototyping video Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 04, 2008

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Magnetic interface widgets for whiteboard prototyping

Not long ago, you could buy a magnetic interface design toolkit. Now, they are back - this time big enough to use on a whiteboard (or your fridge) for collaborative on-the-fly prototyping.

The magnetic interface widgets have a special coated surface so that you can write on them with a non-permanent maker and easily wipe them off again. They come in a nice laptop sized case with around 100 magnets.


  • GuiMags Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 09, 2008

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Example of a paper prototype envisionment

Here's a great example of an envisionment made by cutting together a video of a guy interacting with a paper/cardboard PDA prototype. The application featured is for meeting new people at the university.


  • YouTube video of paper prototype Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 18, 2007 - via IxDA discussions

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See also: Audio and video (48)  Cases and Examples (28) 



Slides and audio from UX Week 2007

Adaptive Path has made slides and audio from the UX Week 2007 sessions available.

I can especially recommend:

- Sketching in Code: Using Prototypes to Visualize Interactions (description / slides / audio)

- Learning Interaction Design From Everyday Objects (description / slides / audio)


  • The UX Week sessions Open link in new window
  • Access to all the podcasts via iTunes Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 20, 2007

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See also: Talks and presentations (18)  Audio and video (48) 



Tutorial on how to create dynamic PDF prototypes

Contrary to what many believe, we can do more with PDF prototypes than create links and forms.

In this article, Kyle Pero Soucy explains how we can use PDFs to:

- Add dynamic elements such as rollovers and drop-down menus
- Mimic Ajax-like functionality by updating only parts of the PDF instead of an entire page
- Embed audio and video files
- Validate form data
- Perform calculations and respond to user actions

The prototypes can be created with our favourite prototyping tool. Once converted to PDF, we can add interactivity, audio and video to the prototype using Adobe Acrobat Professional.


  • PDF Prototypes: Mistakenly Disregarded and Underutilized Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 08, 2007

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Tutorial on how to create clickable prototypes with PowerPoint

One good reason for building prototypes with PowerPoint is that it's probably already sitting on your hard drive. Another is that anyone you want to share it with probably also has it.

In this tutorial, Maureen Kelly shows how to build working prototypes with PowerPoint by using its interactive features for creating hyperlinks, buttons, and dynamic mouseover effects.


  • Interactive Prototypes with PowerPoint Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 08, 2007

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OmniGraffle wireframe palette

Michael Angeles has released a revision to his wireframe palette for OmniGraffle (a Machintosh diagramming tool).


  • Michael Angeles' OmniGraffle wireframe palette Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 26, 2007 - via Digital Web

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Book review: Sketching User Experience

Business Week has published a review of Bill Buxton's book Sketching User Experience.

To quote:

"Sketching User Experience is, nominally, a book about product design. But it would be just as accurate to say that it's a book about software development, or, more generally, about the often broken process of bringing new products to market..."

"For Buxton, the need to rethink the development process by inserting design into the front-end is all the more urgent because new technology ... introduce new levels of complexity to the challenge of product design."

"Buxton takes pains to distinguish sketches from prototypes, which are more detailed, more expensive, and more focused on testing or proving a single idea. If sketching is about asking questions, prototyping is about suggesting answers. Sketching takes place at the beginning of the development process, prototyping only later."


  • Business Week review of the book Open link in new window
  • The book at Open link in new window
  • The book at Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 03, 2007 - via Putting People First

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Visio - the interaction designer's nail gun (3rd edition)

The Q2 2007 issue of GUUUI is a third edition of an article on using Visio for rapid prototyping for the web. The new edition includes a minor update of the GUUUI Web Prototyping Tool that eliminates a major shortcoming: the inability to create scrolling pages. The update also includes brand new sketchy interface widgets.


Henrik Olsen - April 08, 2007

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