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A tool we created for rapidly prototyping location-enhanced apps. The key idea is to use a few basic abstractions at design time to support location features, and then to use a Wizard of Oz approach at run time to help with testing.
Location-enhanced applications use the location of people, places, and things to augment or streamline interaction. Location-enhanced applications are just starting to emerge in several different domains, and many people believe that this type of application will experience tremendous growth in the near future. However, it currently requires a high level of technical expertise to build location-enhanced applications, making it hard to iterate on designs. To address this problem we introduce Topiary, a tool for rapidly prototyping location-enhanced applications. Topiary lets designers create a map that models the location of people, places, and things; use this active map to demonstrate scenarios depicting location contexts; use these scenarios in creating storyboards that describe interaction sequences; and then run these storyboards on mobile devices, with a wizard updating the location of people and things on a separate device. We performed an informal evaluation with seven researchers and interface designers and found that they reacted positively to the concept.
Authors are Yang Li, Jason Hong, and James Landay