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Bill Buxton on sketching and prototyping user interfaces

In this 1.5 hour video, Bill Buxton talks about sketching and prototyping user interfaces.

To Bill Buxton, sketching is fundamental to ideation while prototyping is an evaluation technique. In ideation, the goal is to come up with many different ideas. In evaluation, you narrow down choices of ideas. Sketching is a way of "getting the right design" while prototyping is "getting the design right."


  • Bill Buxton's talk on sketching and prototyping Open link in new window
  • Jared Spool's summary of the talk Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 03, 2007 - via UIE Brain Sparks

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Book: Effective Prototyping for Software Makers

In January 2007, a new book on prototyping was published. It's a practical step-by-step book on how to create rapid paper and computer generated prototypes.

The book covers issues such as choosing prototyping method, deciding on fidelity, diagramming flows, evaluating prototypes, and how to create prototypes using different approaches and tools. It also has a short chapter on interface design guidelines.

The book is impressive 624 pages. The authors have reached this high volume by operating with a somewhat broad definition of what a prototype is (for example card sorting is called prototyping) and by explaining prototyping as an process composed of a myriad of phases and steps.

The exhaustive step-by-step approach might be educational for those new to prototyping. To me, it makes prototyping appear as an overwhelming and rigid undertaking rather than a creative and playful one.


  • The book at Open link in new window
  • The book at Open link in new window
  • Companion website with sample chapters Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 21, 2007

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Turn Photoshop projects into working prototypes

Altia has released a new tool called PhotoProto that translates Photoshop files into clickable prototypes. By arranging screens and widgets in layer combs and naming them with special keywords, PhotoProto can automatically turn projects into working prototypes.

The prototypes can be viewed in a browser with the ProtoPlay browser plug-in installed.


  • Altia PhotoProto Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 12, 2007 - via IxDA

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How to create working prototypes with OmniGraffle

Michael Angeles has created a little video showing how create working prototypes with OmniGraffle (a Macintosh diagramming tool) by linking drawings together and exporting them as HTML or PDFs.


  • Creating prototypes with OmniGraffle Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 25, 2007

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Introduction to paper prototyping

Over at A List Apart, Shawn Medero has written a nice introduction to paper prototyping that covers the basic why and how.

"Though some people shy away from paper prototypes because they feel they will not be taken seriously, I argue that many people are intimidated by a formal, highly technical design process and that the less "professional" nature of paper prototyping is a great way to lighten the mood and engage a more diverse group. Just offer plenty of paper, pens, scissors, and other materials for anyone to grab and use. If anyone feels nervous, let them eat the paste."


  • Paper prototyping Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 24, 2007 - via Usability in the News

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How to document interaction designs using Visio and Word

Anders Bjork sent me a link to his article about how to document interaction designs created in Visio. Write your comments in Visio and export the screens and the comments to Word.


  • Documenting Interaction Design/Wire Frames with Visio and Word Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 08, 2007

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The dark side of prototyping

The Q1 2007 issue of GUUUI points out some of the most common pitfalls of prototyping and how to avoid them:

- Make sure that the design reflected by the prototype is realizable within the project constraints
- Keep fidelity at a minimum throughout the design phase
- Involve colleagues in the design process


Henrik Olsen - January 01, 2007

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Review of prototyping tools

Here's a look at the latest prototyping tools on the market. In this article by Scott McDowell, you'll find short reviews of the products Axure, Elegance Tech LucidSpec, iRise, Serena Composer, Enterprise Simulator, and Sofea Profesy.


  • Visio Replacement? You Be the Judge. Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 18, 2006

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The book Designing Interactions

In his book, Bill Moggridge, designer of the first laptop computer and a founder of the design firm IDEO, has interviewed 40 influential designers that have shaped our interactions with digital technology. At the companion website, you can meet all the designers and hear excerpts from the interviews.

In the introduction and final chapter of the book, Moggridge tells the story of IDEO's design process and explains the focus on people and prototypes that has been successful at IDEO.

The book is 800 pages, richly illustrated, and comes with a DVD with 37 of the interviews.

At the time of writing this, Bill Moggridge is releasing a chapter of the book each week at the book's companion website.


  • The companion website Open link in new window
  • The book at Open link in new window
  • The book at Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 30, 2006 - via LukeW

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Prototyping beyond the sunshine scenario

Prototypes often model one flow of interaction - the path that users are most likely to take. But when we create interaction designs with dynamic and complex flows, we often need to include deviations from the sunshine scenarios to see whether they work. The Q4 2006 issue of GUUUI takes a look at how to do this in Visio and Axure.


Henrik Olsen - October 01, 2006

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See also: GUUUI articles (11)  Tools (106) 


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