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Re: [agile-usability] Tools for photo-realistic wireframe prototyping

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  • Fredrik Matheson
    I usually lay out a huge sheet in Illustrator (10.000 x 10.000 pixels) with a gray background and create screen flows with fairly realistic mockups of the
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 1, 2006
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      I usually lay out a huge sheet in Illustrator (10.000 x 10.000 pixels) with a gray background and create screen flows with fairly realistic mockups of the design. The huge size means I don't run out of space and can show lots of concurrent processes.

      It's easy to distribute as a PDF and not too hard to print.

      For detail work like buttons I might use photoshop and bring those images in for extra detail. When our graphic designers create a full-resolution mockup I usually re-do the psd-file and bring bits and pieces into illustrator, it's much, much easier to move stuff around in there. Illustrator also has pixel preview, which makes things look pretty much as the would on the screen.

      Also, projecting the sketches onto a whiteboard, sketching with the client and taking a picture of the result - and translating this back into the illustrator file - helps communication.

      If you have a little library of buttons, boxes and other UI elements it's easy to put something together pretty quickly, but it won't be interactive, of course.
    • Fred Beecher
      ... Yep, that s Axure. It s a bit clunky, interface-wise, but it s capabilities are worth all the clicking. I ve used Axure for lots of projects so far, so if
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 1, 2006
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        On 9/1/06, Desilets, Alain <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
        >
        > Actually, as I think of this more, this is really what I need:
        >
        > - The mockup must be in electronic form
        > - The mockup must be "neat" (i.e. neater than a free-hand drawing), but
        > does not have to be photo-realistic. It just has to look professional,
        > and clearly communicate what the real thing looks like and how it works.
        > - The mockup must be easy to modify

        Yep, that's Axure. It's a bit clunky, interface-wise, but it's
        capabilities are worth all the clicking. I've used Axure for lots of
        projects so far, so if you want to know more about what it's like
        working with it, feel free to ask me. Also, their support is
        incredibly good. They respond to issues and questions very rapidly.

        - Fred
      • Desilets, Alain
        ... Great. I gather this is a web app or a desktop app, then, rather than a physical object. -- Alain: That s right. I m not much of a handy man ;-).
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 1, 2006
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          > -- Alain:
          > A special purpose editor designed for translators.
          > ----
          >

          Great. I gather this is a web app or a desktop app, then, rather than a
          physical object.

          -- Alain:
          That's right. I'm not much of a handy man ;-).
          ----
        • Ilen Zazueta-Hall
          De-lurking to second the recommendation on Axure. It s clunky but robust and allows rapid, semi-functional html prototyping of just about anything. Combine
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 1, 2006
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            De-lurking to second the recommendation on Axure. It's clunky but robust and allows rapid, semi-functional html prototyping of just about anything. Combine  its custom widgets/masters features with copying and pasting from the graphics editor of your choice and you get something more than a wireframe with minimal effort.

            I'm curious to know if anybody else uses this type of "pretty" wireframes??

            Recognizing the oxymoron, I've nevertheless found these documents (somewhere between a wireframe, an html prototype and a screen mock up) to be a very effective bridge between engineering and business users.

            Regards,

            --Ilen

          • Dave Churchville
            ... If you re planning to use Photoshop, Fireworks, etc. to make static images, you might be interested in EasyPrototype (http://www.easyprototype.com). It s
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 1, 2006
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              --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
              <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
              >
              > I need to produce a photo-realistic wireframe prototype.
              >
              > What tools do you use to produce those?

              If you're planning to use Photoshop, Fireworks, etc. to make static
              images, you might be interested in EasyPrototype
              (http://www.easyprototype.com).

              It's designed to take static images (hand-drawn or pixel-perfect) and
              make it easy to wire them together to make an interactive prototype,
              or generate a specification in MS Word.

              I normally do paper sketches, then just scan them, load them in, and
              label and link the pages together - it's actually kind of fun.

              (Disclaimer: My company makes the product, so I'm a bit biased here).

              --Dave

              David Churchville
              http://www.extremeplanner.com/blog
            • Ron Vutpakdi
              ... I use Canvas from ACD Systems (formerly from Deneba Software) for my wireframes and mockups. Canvas is a jack of all trades graphics package that is a
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 2, 2006
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                --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Desilets, Alain"
                <alain.desilets@...> wrote:
                >
                > I assume you want to work to pixel-level accuracy,
                > rather than working at a sketchier level.
                >
                > -- Alain:
                > Actually, as I think of this more, this is really what I need:
                >
                > - The mockup must be in electronic form
                > - The mockup must be "neat" (i.e. neater than a free-hand drawing), but
                > does not have to be photo-realistic. It just has to look professional,
                > and clearly communicate what the real thing looks like and how it works.
                > - The mockup must be easy to modify

                I use Canvas from ACD Systems (formerly from Deneba Software) for my
                wireframes and mockups. Canvas is a jack of all trades graphics
                package that is a combination of functionality found in Illustrator,
                Photoshop, and some light page layout capabilities.

                Depending on the need, I can create wireframes using solely the vector
                and text capabilities or "photo realistic mockups" by adding in bitmap
                level functionality.

                For distribution, I create multiple page PDFs. These days, I've been
                experimenting with adding (limited) clickable navigation to each
                mockup so that if the user clicks on what looks like a button (that
                launches a dialog) or tab, the document changes to the page of the
                document which shows the interface as if the user really did click on
                that button or tab.

                On Wednesday, when my manager returns from vacation, I'll ask if I can
                distribute a short example of one of my documents.

                Ron
              • Miinalainen, Petteri
                Well, first i call only simple wireframes as wireframes... Photorealistic stuff is usually called hifi prototype (if it s clickable) or visualized storyboard
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 4, 2006
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                  Well, first i call only simple wireframes as wireframes... Photorealistic stuff is usually called hifi prototype (if it's clickable) or visualized storyboard or scenario if it's only a sequence of photorealistic screenshots without any functionality.
                   
                  I usually only produce one or two photorealistic screens to show the visual appearance and produce lofi wireframe of the rest.
                  Only when the visual appearance and overall structure of screens and associated screen flows have been fixed, we produce the rest of screens usually with html or IDE GUI tools.
                   
                  So, to try to answer your question.
                  1. for photorealistic screens: either photoshop or fireworks is used to create photorealistic screen pictures
                  2. for wireframes: visio, pen & paper, powerpoint, freehand, whiteboard and digicam etc etc.
                  3. based on those, a basic set of screens is produced in html or with development environments gui tools ( screen types, templates). In some cases a formal documentation is created to describe the various screen types. This is kinda slow and can not usually be considered as very agile, but it sure does bring some accuracy...
                  For web development, dreamweaver and well-designed css is often fastest way to create photorealistic screens after the initial creation. They have the added benefit of being reusable as basis for final applications ui code.
                  4. developers usually finish the rest of the required screens based on the screen types (list, search, drill-down,...) in collaboration with ui designer
                   
                   
                  Lately i've been wondering about using axure rp pro for creating simultaneously wireframe, prototype and user interface specification.
                  check it out www.axure.com
                   
                  other tools worth checking out
                  MockupScreens at http://mockupscreens.com/
                  tools for creating wireframes
                  tools for creating annotated prototypes and specifications on top of pictures. Pictures can be digital shots of whiteboard doodles or sophisticated and elaborate screen images made with photoshop et al. You just create the annotation overlay with this application.
                   
                   
                  Petteri
                   
                   


                  From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Desilets, Alain
                  Sent: 1. syyskuuta 2006 17:30
                  To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [agile-usability] Tools for photo-realistic wireframe prototyping

                  I need to produce a photo-realistic wireframe prototype.

                  What tools do you use to produce those?

                  Thx

                  Alain

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