First off, I'd just like to say I love reading all the opinions out there as I'm on an island here...
So have we reached violent agreement yet? :D
Considering there are myriad ways to present wireframes and flows...whatever works for you, well, works for you. So far, at this place I'm at, user studies done with Flex/Flash based prototypes that look close to a branded/finished product have worked very well. The feedback has been excellent and it seems quicker to me to get the users focused and into the scenarios. That said, and again for me, the paper wireframes have been better at getting business requirements on the table with Stakeholders and other internal partners as they get hung up on the interface of the prototypes too much. The nice thing about alternatives is you can try them all...
And if a Stakeholder asks "Is this what we're getting?" I've decided to say "Yes. Yes it is."
----- Original Message ----
From: Fred Beecher <fbeecher@...>
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 3:39:08 PM
Subject: Re: [agile-usability] Re: Prototyping Tools
On 1/15/08, thomas lissajoux <thomas@systemesagil es.com> wrote:
I think we're getting back to what Brian Weiss mentioned at
the beginning of this thread : having hi-fi prototypes too often
leads to stakeholders pointing to differences and details in
So this leads me to some other question ?
What does prevent user experience testing to be conducted with
paper prototypes (+ trend boards + visual identity sketches) ?
My own opinion : not much.
If you're doing a highly interactive site with a lot of rich interactions, you're missing a whole lot. If you're just doing a standard Web page where you click from page to page, then you wouldn't be missing much.
Interactive (notice how I didn't say "high fidelity"... I'll get to that in a bit) prototypes yield much more accurate information in user testing of Web sites that rely on rich interactions. Why? Well, it's all about context. Paper is NOT the context rich interactions are meant for, and people will correspondingly be confused. For simple Web sites, it's close enough. If you really want to know whether a rich interaction is usable or not, it needs to be in an interactive format if you want to get reliable, actionable data from user testing.
Responding to your musings about hi-fi prototypes.. . I think that fidelity is only *one* aspect of a prototype. *Interactivity* is the other. You can have a lo-fi interactive prototype, which is typically what Axure produces... essentially interactive wireframes. You can also have hi-fi prototypes that are low on interaction, such as printed JPGs. In my experience, I've found that stakeholders respond to lo-fi interactive prototypes pretty much as they do wireframes. I have been in some situations, however, where the interactivity was communicated much more effectively than in wireframes, which led to constructive feedback from stakeholders *pre* development.
Never miss a thing.