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Prototyping - 4 Strategic Factors for Designers


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Good design teams prototype – often. This presentation takes a hard look at prototyping and provides a framework for assessing the prototyping needs of a team or project. If you have a “standard approach” to prototyping this session will help you re-think your prototyping strategy. If your prototypes are usually created in a similar way, this session will help expand your knowledge of prototyping and ways you can change what you’re doing to be more effective and efficient.

Published in: Technology
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Prototyping - 4 Strategic Factors for Designers

  1. 1. #UXPA2016 Prototyping: 4 Strategic Factors for Designers Lyle Kantrovich Vivid Mojo – Minneapolis, Minnesota @Lkantrov
  2. 2. #UXPA2016 Hand Raising • Regularly create prototypes • Regularly test / do research with prototypes • Regularly review / provide feedback on prototypes • Have a standard prototyping tool
  3. 3. #UXPA2016 The Road Ahead • Think differently about prototyping • Reconsider how you use prototypes • Improve your organization’s prototyping maturity
  4. 4. #UXPA2016 What is a Prototype? • 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. – Wikipedia (2016) • A first or early example that is used as a model for what comes later – Merriam Webster • A first, typical or preliminary model of something, especially a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied. – Oxford Dictionary
  5. 5. #UXPA2016 What is a Model? • A three-dimensional representation of a person or thing or of a proposed structure, typically on a smaller scale than the original. – Oxford Dictionary • A usually miniature representation of something; a pattern of something to be made; or a set of ideas and numbers that describe the past, present, or future state of something (such as an economy or a business) – Merriam Webster
  6. 6. #UXPA2016 What is a Simulation? • The production of a computer model of something, especially for the purpose of study – Oxford Dictionary • Something that is made to look, feel, or behave like something else especially so that it can be studied or used to train people – Merriam Webster
  7. 7. #UXPA2016 My Imperfect Definition: A representation of a design idea to help communicate, explore, test or study future possibilities.
  8. 8. #UXPA2016 Converging Concepts Related Terms: • Mockup • Wireframe • Beta • Demo Model Simulation Prototype
  9. 9. #UXPA2016 Serious Play – by Michael Schrage Many case studies on prototyping, simulations, modeling…from clay to foam to Excel Discusses prototyping cultures and relationship to innovation. HBS Press, 1999
  10. 10. #UXPA2016 Prototypes Create Value Through Conversations & Interactions. • Users interacting with the model • Clients discussing the prototype • Stakeholders discussing tradeoffs / needs / use cases • Team members discussing materials, build-ability, maintainability, etc. Source: Flavio Nazario
  11. 11. #UXPA2016 Types of Prototypes: Physical Apple Macintosh LC Prototype (1989) – Foam Philips AirFloss Prototype Source: Philips CommunicationsSource: jimabeles
  12. 12. #UXPA2016 The Link Trainer (1929) Source: pasukaru76
  13. 13. The question isn’t what kind of prototypes should we build, but… What kind of conversations & interactions do we want to inspire?
  14. 14. #UXPA2016 Prototype Creators • Designers create prototypes • Sometimes a previous or competing product serves as a prototype • Participatory Design involves users directly in creating designs / prototypes
  15. 15. #UXPA2016 The UCD Process Plan the Design Process Understand & Specify Context of Use Specify User Requirements Produce Design Solutions to Meet User Requirements Evaluate Designs Against Requirements Designed Solution Meets User Requirements Iterate where appropriate ISO 9241-210
  16. 16. #UXPA2016 Produce Designs UCD – Prototype Centric Version Plan the Design Process Understand & Specify Context of Use Specify User Requirements Evaluate Designs Design Meets User Requirements Iterate where appropriate
  17. 17. YOU CAN’T INVENT THE FUTURE WITHOUT FIRST PROTOTYPING IT. - Michael Schrage True innovators don’t create ideas… they create models & prototypes. PROTOTYPING IS INNOVATIVE BEHAVIOR
  18. 18. #UXPA2016 4 Prototyping Factors to Consider Works Like Looks Like Reads Like Depth & Breadth • Functionality • Performance • Level of Interaction • Input & Output Methods • Colors • Fonts • Branding • White space • Visual “polish” • Graphics / Photos • Use of placeholders • Lorem Ipsum • Real content • Scope of features • Scenarios supported
  19. 19. #UXPA2016 The “F-Word” • “Fidelity” is overused, overloaded and overly simple. It is steeped in assumptions • Works Like = Functional fidelity • Looks Like = Visual fidelity • Reads Like = Content fidelity • Depth and Breadth = Overall Completeness
  20. 20. “What organizations choose NOT to model is as revealing as what they do.” - Michael Schrage A CAUTIONARY WORD
  21. 21. #UXPA2016 Simplification • Prototypes = deliberate simplification (or oversimplification) • What should be simplified and why? • Simplification and Complexity both represent risk Source: Jegi (Flickr)
  22. 22. Polish looks for praise. “ROUGHNESS” INVITES QUESTIONS.
  23. 23. #UXPA2016 Paper Prototype • Works like = Low • Looks like = Low • Reads like = Low • Depth & Breadth = a few screens Source: Rosenfeld Media
  24. 24. #UXPA2016 Paper Prototype Source: Flavio Nazario
  25. 25. #UXPA2016 757 Cockpit Flight Simulator • Works like = High • Looks like = High • Reads like = High • Depth & Breadth = Cockpit Only Source: Kent Wien (Flickr)
  26. 26. #UXPA2016 Blueprint • Works like = Low • Looks like = Low • Reads like = Low • Depth & Breadth = Summary Source: David Power (Flickr)
  27. 27. #UXPA2016 Blueprint – Real Scale Source: vardehaugen_arkitekter
  28. 28. #UXPA2016 Wood Prototype – Video Camera • Works like = Low • Looks like = Medium • Reads like = Low • Depth & Breadth = Exterior Only “Form study” used for size, shape, weight, ergonomics Source: billibala (Flickr)
  29. 29. #UXPA2016 3D Architecture Model – Virtual • Works like = Low • Looks like = High • Reads like = Medium • Depth & Breadth = Interior & Exterior Source: Alvin Oei (Flickr)
  30. 30. #UXPA2016 Axure Prototype • Works like = Med • Looks like = Med • Reads like = High • Depth & Breadth = Home + Products
  31. 31. #UXPA2016 Interactive Prototype – Wikipedia Android App “Link Preview” • Works like = High • Looks like = High • Reads like = High • Depth & Breadth = Link Preview feature only Source: Wikimedia
  33. 33. #UXPA2016 Other Prototyping Considerations
  34. 34. #UXPA2016 Medium • Clay • Whiteboard Sketch • Paper • Foam Core • Wood • Metal • Cardboard Virtual: • PhotoShop • Axure • Excel • Visio / OmniGraffle • Web • Desktop or Mobile App
  35. 35. THE PHYSICAL MATERIAL USED IN PROTOTYPING IS A MAJOR STRATEGIC INNOVATION VARIABLE. - Michael Schrage Choice of medium impacts how prototypes are managed and how teams collaborate.
  36. 36. #UXPA2016 1956 Packard – Clay Prototype Clay auto prototypes truncated debate, rather than inviting discussion.Source: John Lloyd (Flickr)
  37. 37. #UXPA2016 Medium Impacts Design… Early HP calculators were prototyped in cardboard, resulting in more “squared off” designs. They later switched to foam & resulting designs were more soft and rounded HP-35 (1972) HP-39G (2000)Source: WikipediaSource: Kubanczyk (Flickr)
  38. 38. #UXPA2016 Ownership • Who can change it? • Who gets to see it? • When? Source: DeviantArt BlueAngelPower2003
  39. 39. #UXPA2016 Prototype Lifetime Is it throw away? Will it evolve into the actual product? Source: Julia Folsom
  40. 40. #UXPA2016 Context of (Prototype) Use • How similar to intended product use? • Social context? • Technical context • Mobile app on mobile • Mobile app in mobile browser • Mobile in desktop browser • Mobile over Webex • Environment – e.g. distractions, lab vs. home
  41. 41. #UXPA2016 Refactoring • How easy will it be to change the prototype? • Can anyone change it? • Paper = low skill • Code = special skills • Tool = different special skills • When will we change the level of fidelity? • Functionality • Visual • Content • When will we stop iterating? • When do we move from prototype to production (e.g. code)?
  42. 42. #UXPA2016 Iterations vs. Variations v2a v1a v3a v1b v1c v2b Variations Iterations
  43. 43. #UXPA2016 “Built Like” • Are there material or architectural risks? • New technology planned? • Technical constraints? • Technical challenges?
  44. 44. #UXPA2016 Scale Making it smaller can help simplify. Source: eBay
  45. 45. #UXPA2016 Opera Garnier - Architect’s Model Louis Villeminot - Plaster – 1/50th Scale (1863) Source: Wikimedia
  46. 46. #UXPA2016 Cutaway Model – Opera Garnier Source: Richard White (Flickr)
  47. 47. #UXPA2016 Planning for prototypes in the UCD process: • Prototype the 20% that will get 80% of use/value. • Target the biggest risks & opportunities. • For testing, prototype scope needs to cover scope of test scenarios • Level of prototype fidelity shouldn’t exceed the team’s level of thinking (idea maturity). • If too high? Less feedback, unrealistic expectations. • If too low? Misinterpretation & unmitigated risks. • There are “devils” in the details (i.e., interaction & content matter)
  48. 48. #UXPA2016 A Few Thoughts on Agile Agile is about getting to a prototype quicker. • Agile kills documentation…documentation is not a prototype. • Agile simplifies “requirements” to generate a working limited system more quickly • But it does this often with a certain set of limitations in terms of risks it adopts. • “Prototypes” (aka MVP’s) often built with production materials • Only one variation at a time usually
  49. 49. #UXPA2016 Do you need a Prototype? • Some questions can be answered without a prototype • Tree tests & Card Sorts – Labels & Content Organization • Will the prototype help answer questions? Is change possible? • If not, why create a prototype?
  50. 50. #UXPA2016 Summary • Adjust your thinking beyond the “F-word” • Works Like • Looks Like • Reads Like • Depth & Breadth • Don’t prototype on “autopilot”
  51. 51. #UXPA2016 Summary (2) Consider & plan for: • Roughness • Simplification • What doesn’t get prototyped • Medium • Lifetime • Context of prototype use • Competing variations • Refactoring process • Scale • Conversations & Interactions
  52. 52. #UXPA2016 Twitter: @Lkantrov Email: LinkedIn: Lyle Kantrovich thank you