Workshop: Rapid Prototyping

July 9, 2009

A prototype is a visual outline of the interface and an efficient way of experimenting with ideas. It is built to be tested with users in order to get better ideas. A rapidly built prototype helps designers to fail faster and to succeed quicker.

    The three mantras of rapid prototyping:

  1. Think user! Put yourself into the shoes of the user and consider needs, expectations, and constraints.
  2. Start broad – go narrow! Don’t get lost in details.
  3. Be pragmatic! Don’t get emotional with your ideas. There is always more than one solution to a problem.

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What to consider when doing a prototype:

1. Page lay-out – How can I organise content on the page effectively and appropriately?

    Think about:

  • The layout-grid for this page
  • Meaningful sections and different levels of headlines
  • Other content items: Images, Featured items, Comments, Ratings …

2. Signposts and Navigation – How can I facilitate site- and page-navigation that is consistent, easy to understand and helps users finding stuff.

    Think about:

  • Menus and subsidiary menus
  • Contextual links (from within the recipe)
  • Buttons where necessary
  • (Meaningful labels for the menus, if not produced in the card-sort workshop)

2. Functionality – What do I need to offer in order to give the user maximum value for visiting the page.

    Consider:

  • Comments and ratings
  • Sharing content with others
  • Printing a recipe
  • Finding similar items
  • Anything else?
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