Prototyping tools for design: features and strengths Essay

Prototyping tools for design: features and strengths, 486 words essay example

Essay Topic:visual,final,support,application

1) Be specific of the type of feedback you are looking for during review sessions.

2) It should be good and complete enough to provide a common understanding.

Each prototyping tool has its own feature set and strengths. Based on your needs and the requirements of the projects you intend work on, you can evaluate which tool would be most appropriate by considering the following questions

The ease of use is it easy to use and learn?

Is it flexible to support prototypes for mobile applications?

Is there a repository of reusable stencils, templates or widgets available?

The ease in sharing the prototype with others for review

The ease in making changes on the go or to incorporate and capturing feedback

Does it allow multiple people to work on it at the same time?

What are the licensing terms and costs?


Fidelity refers to how closely a prototype resembles the final solution. Depending on the stage of the design process and the goals of the prototype, select the appropriate fidelity for each of the following

Visual fidelity (sketched  styled)

User design interface is the most noticeable dimension of a prototypes fidelity and, if not properly selected, can delay prototype reviews. As prototyping progresses through the design cycle, increase the visual fidelity as needed by introducing elements of style, color, branding and graphics.

Functional fidelity (static  interactive)

Does the prototype reveal how the solution will work (static) or does it appear to be fully functional and respond to user input (interactive)? Adding interactivity in subsequent iterations increases functional fidelity and allows the prototype to be used for usability testing and training and communications.

Content fidelity (lorem ipsum  real content)

Another dimension that often distracts users is the content that is displayed in the prototype. Squiggly lines and dummy text like lorem ipsum are useful to add in early stages of prototyping. But as the prototype is refined, evaluate the need to replace dummy text with real content to get a feel for how it affects the overall design.

Sketching on paper is a lowfidelity approach that anyone can do no special tools or experience required. Most often used during the early stages of a design cycle, sketching is a quick way to create rough mockups of design approaches and concepts and to get feedback from users. Paper prototyping is ideal during brainstorming and conceptualization and can be done alone in a cubicle with a sketchbook or in a group with a flip chart (or whiteboard) and markers.

Wireframes, task flows and scenarios are created with computerbased tools such as Visio and Omnigraffle which take more time and effort but look more formal and refined. It focuses on demonstrating the behavior of the application. Interactivity can be simulated by linking pages or screens, but functional fidelity here is medium at best. These prototypes are best suited to determining whether user needs are met and whether the user experience is optimal.


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