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7302Re: [agile-usability] Prototype tools - the pros and cons...

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  • Jon Kern
    Mar 2, 2011
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      FWIW: I have had good success using low-fi whiteboard and pen+paper.

      However, I have also used Balsamiq (and Napkee) quite effectively. As we
      (i.e., clients in the room) discuss ideas about the UI, I can change it
      right before their very eyes and try things out. Unless of course, the
      ideas are so very complicated that I need to go away and work on a more
      complex prototype...

      Many times it depends on the audience. For many clients, being able to
      click on the mockups and see flow and next screens seems to sink in
      better than just a few static sketches.

      For me, I whip out the Balsamiq/Napkee tool when it makes sense.

      blog: http://technicaldebt.com
      twitter: http://twitter.com/JonKernPA

      William Pietri said the following on 2/28/11 4:31 PM:
      > On 02/28/2011 05:06 AM, Miinalainen, Petteri wrote:
      >> As to William’s argument that specialized tools are not meant to be
      >> used collaboratively, I have to partially disagree. Balsamiq can be
      >> used in very collaborative matter. More so than tools that are used
      >> for coding. Balsamiq doesn’t require special skills from business
      >> side to use, it can be integrated to shared repositories and helps
      >> commenting etc especially in distributed projects. Some specialized
      >> tools require basic working knowledge of application, but on the
      >> other hand help communication. That is one their selling points and
      >> I’ve seen many times that interpretation of user story is different
      >> until flow of screen is visualized. I could argue that coding should
      >> be done on whiteboard, because xyz IDE is not collaborative. Most
      >> tools are used alone for the actual execution of work. Planning,
      >> alignment and review are done together – that’s why you have scrum
      >> meetings, right?
      > This seems to be arguing with a lot of things I didn't say.
      > Balsamiq is made for one person to sit in front of a computer made for
      > one person looking at a screen made for one person. It requires you to
      > spend some time getting to know how to use it and its library of
      > stuff. If you think otherwise, you are probably a person who knows how
      > to use it, or who has learned a bunch of similar tools and so
      > considers the effort trivial.
      > On the other hand, anybody who has made it past 4th grade can join me
      > at the whiteboard and sketch things.
      > Therefore, compared with a whiteboard, Balsamiq encourages handoffs.
      > Which is all I said.
      > I am not saying Balsamiq is bad and that people who use it will end up
      > in Agile Jail. I am not saying that all work should be done in massive
      > company-wide simultaneous collaboration as we sing Kumbaya. I am not
      > saying that there is no purpose in ever doing something in higher
      > fidelity.
      > I just said that special-purpose prototyping tools encourage handoffs
      > and discourage collaboration, which strikes me as such an obvious
      > application of HCI thinking that I don't quite understand why it's so
      > controversial here.
      > William
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