"Paper prototyping is a variation
of usability testing where representative users perform realistic
tasks by interacting with a paper version of the interface
that is manipulated by a person ‘playing computer,’
who doesn’t explain how the interface is intended to
work."– Snyder, 2003
what does that mean? You can develop a very low resolution model of an
interface you're designing and be able to have a real user interact
with it and give you feedback about it without having to implement
anything digitally. You can change things on-the-fly and iterate
rapidly on paper before committing anything to code and pixels.
you prototype interfaces on paper, you can not only keep a physical
record of what you've developed but you can also iterate on your design
much more rapidly than if you commit to a digital interface. By
approximating with paper, you enable your users to test the structure
and flow without having to flesh out higher-resolution details. Paper
frees you from having to consider irrelevant (in the beginning stages
of design, anyway) details in the context of testing a larger system.
out your sharpies, folks! Think about the stages of interaction you
want your user to go through and create an ordered stack of papers that
allow a user to explore your interface. What are the transitions like?
Good old stacks of paper are useful, and whiteboards have also been
used to some success, as well. See the resources below for examples.
by Carolyn Snyder, 2003 [links to a host of related resources]
text: Carly Geehr