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.”
yes this definition is from wikipedia, I had a little laugh about it myself, but it was pretty good.
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 COMMUNICATE AND TEST
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.
“It feels like you’re cheating”
‣ 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”
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.
‣ 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
‣ Static HTML
So I decide to choose paper: The Broke Bi*** Origami :
We Must Keep these four essential frame work in mind:
‣ 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
‣ 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)
‣ 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…
‣ 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