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Re: [agile-usability] Prototyping Tools

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  • Adrian Howard
    Hi Fred/Scott, ... I m all for designers doing development! I hope we ll soon give developer-ux / ux-developer roles the same respect that tester- developer /
    Message 1 of 43 , Jan 14, 2008
      Hi Fred/Scott,

      On 10 Jan 2008, at 17:06, Fred Beecher wrote:

      > On 1/10/08, Scott Preece <sepreece@...> wrote:
      >> I believe the point is that the prototypes are done with tools
      >> that the
      >> designers can use themselves. This doesn't mean that they wouldn't
      >> talk to
      >> the developers or other stakeholders. This is to distinguish from
      >> situations
      >> where the designers need to have the developers build the
      >> prototypes for
      >> them, typically because the tools used are more programming-like than
      >> designing-like.
      > That's exactly the point. Thanks, Scott!

      I'm all for designers doing development! I hope we'll soon give
      developer-ux / ux-developer roles the same respect that tester-
      developer / developer-tester roles are getting now.

      My issue (dunno about Ron's :-) was the "all by themselves". That
      seemed to imply that the designer "owned" the prototype code (however
      it was implemented). The problem I was seeing was that the rest of
      the team seemed cut off from participating in the development process.

      It tend to see a team where any single person has control over a key
      artefact as a bit of a red flag. Better to have more folk involved so
      the knowledge spreads around.


    • Brian Weiss
      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
      Message 43 of 43 , Jan 17, 2008
        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...
        We all did get a good laugh out of the Flex "paper" skin Frédéric Monjo mentioned: http://fleksray.org/skins/edding/Edding.html and actually might try it out.
        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@...>
        To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
        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
        production work.

        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.  

        - Fred

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