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Video of paper prototype usability tests

Here's an interesting video showing how a paper prototype usability test helped the usability team at Corel find flaws in a preliminary design of a website creation product.


  • YouTube video of paper prototype usability test Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 16, 2008

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Usability testing (68) 



Prototyping with Adobe Fireworks

It seems like Adobe Fireworks is becoming a new favourite prototyping tool of many interaction designers. With the CS3 version, Adobe has added a number of new features that makes it interesting for prototyping purposes:

- You can create pages instead of having to work with a maze of layers
- You can have a master page holding elements shared across pages
- It comes with a library of common user interface widgets that you can drag and drop onto pages
- You can create your own widgets
- You can make elements clickable and link them to other pages
- You can export the whole thing as web pages to create a clickable prototype
- You can work with schematic designs to fully treated graphic designs

Below you'll find a video and three tutorials on how to use Fireworks as a prototyping tool.


  • Video of a web page made with Fireworks Open link in new window
  • Tutorial: Rapid prototyping in Fireworks CS3 Open link in new window
  • Tutorial: Wireframing with Fireworks CS3 Open link in new window
  • Tutorial: Using Fireworks CS3 to design effective, interactive website presentations Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 24, 2008

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See also: Tools (106)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 



iPhone paper prototype

So you thought that Apple didn't do paper prototypes. Well, you were wrong. Here's a video of the very first iPhone crayon-and-paper prototype.


  • Video of the iPhone paper prototype Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 14, 2008

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See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Fun music and videos (13) 



How the new Office 2007 interface came about

MIX08 has published a talk by Jensen Harris giving a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the new interface design of Office 2007. He talks about how Microsoft said farewell to menus and toolbars and hello to the Ribbon.

In his presentations, Jensen shows some of the many concepts prototypes that came before the final design and explains how usability tests of these prototypes led to the Ribbon concept.


  • The Story of the Ribbon Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 11, 2008

Permanent link Comments (3)

See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119)  Usability testing (68)  Audio and video (48)  Cases and Examples (28)  Talks and presentations (18) 



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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See also: Tools (106)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 



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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See also: Audio and video (48)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 



Putting yourself inside the heads of users

Amy Hoy has written a nice article on how designers can improve their designs by putting themselves in the shoes of users. One of her techniques is to start the design process by creating a flowchart of what might happen inside the head of users as they attempt to complete some kind of task. In the article, she takes a look at how well two browser firms support users' decision-making process.

Hilarious quote from the article: "The phrase "user experience" is quite a mouthful. Even the acronym is kinda scary: UX, UXP, or sometimes UXD (D for "design"). It pretty much looks and sounds like the noise you make when you puke [...] (UXP! Hello again, dinner!)"


  • Product pages: so much suck, so easy to fix Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 03, 2008

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See also: Landing pages (5)  Home pages (9)  Expert reviews (11) 



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

Permanent link Comments (8)

See also: Tools (106)  Funny tools and games (12)  Prototyping and wireframing (119) 



Design processes of leading companies

The Design Council has published an in-dept study of the design processes used in 12 leading global companies, including Yahoo!, LEGO, Microsoft, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Sony.

The study looked at the way design is used in these firms, how designers work with staff from other disciplines and how the design process is managed to deliver consistently successful results.

The report includes case studies looking in detail at the processes used at each participating company.


  • Eleven lessons: managing design in eleven global brands Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 30, 2008 - via Usability In The News

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: The design process (24) 



The ROI of usability is declining

Jakob Nielsen and co. has conducted a study that looks at the benefits of redesigning websites for usability. The study reports an average return of investment (ROI) of 83%. In 2002, the number was 135%.

According to Jakob, the ROI of usability has decreased for two reasons. First, the most obvious usability problems have been eliminated. Second, usability teams haven't been given more funding to challenge the less obvious problems.


  • Usability ROI Declining, But Still Strong Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 22, 2008

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: E-commerce (27)  Cost-justification and ROI (27) 


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