- A model which something is based on. An early design.
- It is built with the understanding that it may be incorrect and will probably need to change.
- They are used to try out ideas.
- They are generally not complete models
- A way to brainstorm, design, test, and communicate user interfaces.
- It can be used for almost any interface, including telephones, car dashboards, handheld games, or computer applications.
How Does It Work?
- You meet with the development team and choose the type of user who is the most important audience foe the interface.
- Determine tasks that the user should do.
- Make screen shots or sketches of all the windows, menus, dialog boxes, pages, data, pop-up messages, and other interface components that are needed to perform those tasks. This can also be done on a whiteboard.
- Perform a usability test. Have a user interact with the system, have a developer simulate the system, have another facilitate the two, and have an observer take notes.
What Does This Tell You?
- You will find out which parts of the interface work well and which are trouble spots.
- Since the prototype is done on paper you can easily modify it after or during the test,
- You can conduct several tests quickly and it generally doesn’t take long to identify a pattern in the feedback you receive.
- You can rapidly iterate the design based on real user input before any code is written.
- Requires interactivity with the user.
- Real text.
- High quality final interface designs that include colour, font, artwork, and layout choices.
- Filler text.
- A storyboard or flowchart showing all interaction. This is not interactive.
- Feedback before any code is written.
- Promotes rapid iteration. You can experiment with different ideas rather than just one.
- Facilitates communication within the development team and with the user.
- Does not require any technical skill. You can train almost anyone to participate.
- Encourages creativity in the development process.
- Multidisciplinary teams can participate. Customer support representatives and trainers can provide insights into what customers find confusing.
- Ends arguments based on opinions.