I am embarking on some paper prototyping. It’s been a awhile since I’ve done this work, so I thought I’d brush up the technique with some reading. Of course the standard book on the subject is Paper Prototyping: The fast and easy way to design and refine user interfaces.
If you haven’t heard of paper prototyping, here’s an explanation of the process from Wikipedia:
“Paper prototyping is a widely used method in the user-centered design process, a process that helps developers to create software that meets the user’s expectations and needs – in this case, especially for designing and testing user interfaces. It is throwaway prototyping and involves creating rough, even hand-sketched, drawings of an interface to use as prototypes, or models, of a design. While paper prototyping seems simple, this method of usability testing can provide a great deal of useful feedback which will result in the design of better products.”
I’ve done extensive work with paper prototyping the past and I love it. The best part is that changes can be made as fast as you can write them up; it is the best way to iterate through the evolution of a design while being guided to real user feedback. Developing with paper prototypes first and then wireframes before developing production code is Living The Dream for me.
Here are a few other articles, presentations and videos on the topic that I like:
- Paper Prototyping – A List Apart
- Five Paper Prototyping Tips – User Interface Engineering
- Paper Prototyping: Getting User Data Before You Code – UseIt.com
- How to Prototype Like a Pro - Slideshare
- Prototyping Without skills, money or time – Speakerdeck
- 10 Effective Video Examples of Paper Prototyping – Speckyboy.com
Have you used Paper Prototyping? How did it work for you?
Never tried it? Does it sound like a good idea to you?