Week 1 Day 4: Paper Prototyping

Before diving into paper prototyping we first had to start with the initial element of defining what a prototype is in the first place. The overall essence of whatever it may be for.

So we dove into it, yes- head first: WHAT IS A PROTOTYPE?

‣ Why do we prototype?

‣ How are prototypes made?


“A prototype is an early sample, model or

release of a product built to test a concept or

process or to act as a thing to be replicated

or learned from.”

HTTP://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/PROTOTYPE

yes this definition is from wikipedia, I had a little laugh about it myself, but it was pretty good.

And here is the first image that pops up when I type in ‘Prototype’ into Google.

A Prototype within the design process can start anywhere from an initial stick-figure sketch- to the complexity of a gray sketched turned into a 3D object. Weather its paper, plastic, metal, to what seems to be the most common all the rage ‘3d-printed- prototype. mhmm okay lets not get too carried away here. Im also on a budget- of lets see basically $0.00 more or less. Luckily the supplies here at General Assembly seem to be given away freely to eager students, picturing their idea, design in their heads- I can see it probably as much as they can by the way their eyes are all up in thought in their head. So definitely going for the classroom supply of paper as well. We were told that a paper photo-type can range from simple- to highly complex with many pieces and sliders and tape here tape there- but you can make a workable, clickable, pull-able, usable user intuitive photo type for little to no cost; and almost 1000% $ return rate.

I personally would call it ‘ The Broke- Bi*** Origami’ creative I know- I would also like to throw out, I should paten that coin term- maybe I could start a fund going to other materials to create future photo-types, but then again I probably rather but that money towards the coffee keeping me up right now to write this weekly summary in the first place. Anyway back to the lecture:

WHY DO WE PROTOTYPE?

TO EXPLORE

TO REFINE

TO COMMUNICATE AND TEST

‣ Functionality

‣ Flow

‣ Interaction

‣ Animations

‣ Usability

KEEP IT USER-CENTERED

‣ Prototypes are all about the user

‣ Production development can get messy:

‣ database issues

‣ integration points

‣ code maintainability

‣ quality assurance and deployment

‣ …and other things that don’t concern the user

TO ENGAGE THE TEAM

‣ Not everyone can code, but most can help with prototyping

‣ It’s fun- who wouldn’t be tempted when somewhere says “who wants to do some Broke Bi*** Origami folding, and maybe come up with something realllllly cool, and make us money.” I mean my immediate response would be.. “YES” without a doubt.

WHY PAPER?

“It feels like you’re cheating”

JAKOB NIELSEN

IT’S EASY

‣ Anyone on the team is capable of creating a paper prototype

‣ Even advanced techniques are easy to pick up

IT NEVER CHANGES

‣ Paper is readily available

‣ You don’t have to learn software

‣ It can be used throughout your career

IT’S JUST AS EFFECTIVE

‣ When it’s a sketch, test participants know it’s not the final design

‣ Participants still behave the same way

‣ Because it’s so cheap, ROI can be “several thousand percent”

IT’S FLEXIBLE

Physically, and lessons the swipe on my credit card strip

None the less of idealizing the glorious financial return of paper prototyping- I had also been delightfully given an overview of the types of prototypes I could create (eventually, If funds so permit, or working for or with some company where funds are not the key factor.

GET CREATIVE

‣ Figuring out how to demonstrate complex interactions on paper can be

a fun creative challenge

This pushes us to -

‣ Folding paper

‣ Cutting out masks

‣ Using tape

OVERVIEW OF VARIED OF WAYS TO EXPRESS your creative process, as it may be: here we go-

‣ Paper (sketched)

‣ Paper (print-outs)

‣ Photo gallery

‣ Clickable/tappable

‣ Concierge

‣ Static HTML

Functional

So I decide to choose paper: The Broke Bi*** Origami :

We Must Keep these four essential frame work in mind:

PREPARE

‣ Sketch or print basic templates that represent the medium and global elements

‣ Sketch and cut-out any interactive elements

‣ Organize templates and elements so you can manipulate them during a test

EXPLAIN

‣ When showing paper prototypes, remember to explain to the viewer that it is a prototype and doesn’t represent what the final product will look like

‣ Instruct participants to “click” with their finger or a pen

‣ Provide the testing scenario(s) and task(s)

HUMAN COMPUTER

‣ The trick to testing with paper prototypes is that there needs to be a human acting as the computer

‣ The “computer” needs to behave according to pre-defined rules

‣ This person and technique is also known as the “Wizard of Oz”

And Lastly, find your target- or better sense your…

FACILITATOR

‣ The facilitator:

‣ provides test scenarios and tasks

‣ asks the test participant clarification questions

‣ debriefs the participant

‣ The facilitator can also be the computer, but it is easier with two separate people

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