How we used paper for rapid prototyping

As part of an assignment, me and a partner took the interface of an app called Fabric and did paper prototyping to reiterate through many designs and come up with a design which users understood and worked with most effectively.

Fabric is supposed to be an automated journal, that allows you to add memories on the fly, share them with friends and revisit them later. The company behind it, Echo Works, has been founded by two ex-Facebook employees, one of which was the first engineer to work on Facebook Timeline.

The way paper prototyping works is, as the name implies, making prototypes out of paper. This makes is super cheap and fast to reiterate over designs, sometimes even during the session.

We came up with very rough sketches and let multiple subjects use the interfaces, while we asked them how they think an action can be achieved. Here is a part of the designs we came up with in an hour or so.

The users successfully got to every page, but on some prototypes made more mistakes than on others. We took all the best parts and created a new, high-fidelity prototype. We presented this prototype once again, and this time no user struggled with using it. Users were praising the picture-based design and the button placement, commenting that it is very intuitive. The most important feedback we got was that certain interfaces have too many pictures to focus properly, so we responded by increasing the size of the pictures and spacing between them. That’s how we arrived at the final design:

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