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Kill Your Darlings: Solving Design by Throwing Away Your Prototypes

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Wireframing has held sway over UXers for the past 20 years. From its metaphoric origins in filmmaking to its pinnacle in countless UX books, wireframing stood as a key approach in defining both structure & interaction. In recent years, however, wireframing has come under attack. UX thinkers propose replacing wireframes with sketches and prototypes; yet we need to understand that bridge between idea and specification.

Published in: Design
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Kill Your Darlings: Solving Design by Throwing Away Your Prototypes

  1. 1. Kill Your Darlings Solving Design by Throwing Away Prototypes October 24, 2014 Joe Sokohl @RegJoeConsults @MojoGuzzi
  2. 2. What We’ll Talk About §A brief history of wireframing §The benefits of prototyping §Why throw away your work? §A case study showing a redesign process as an archetypal and practical approach @RegJoeConsults!2
  3. 3. http://deneroff.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Futureworld-02.jpg @RegJoeConsults!3
  4. 4. http://www.fastaanytimelock.com/Frank-Lloyd-Wright-Falling-Water-Site-Blueprint-by-BlueprintPlace.html @RegJoeConsults!4
  5. 5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prograph @RegJoeConsults!5
  6. 6. http://www.levenez.com/NeXTSTEP/InterfaceBuilder.jpg @RegJoeConsults!6
  7. 7. @RegJoeConsults!7
  8. 8. @RegJoeConsults!8
  9. 9. …version 28! @RegJoeConsults!9
  10. 10. !10 Prototypes Cats and dogs living together
  11. 11. What is a prototype, anyway? Representa)ve model or simula)on of the final system Todd Zaki Warfel, Prototyping: A Prac//oner’s Guide @RegJoeConsults!11
  12. 12. Why Should We Prototype? @RegJoeConsults!12 Reduced risk Smaller systems Less complex systems Reduc)on in creeping requirements Improved visibility
  13. 13. Why Should We Prototype? @RegJoeConsults!13 Genera)ve Show, tell & experience Reduc)on of misinterpreta)on Savings in )me/effort/money Reduc)on of waste Real-­‐world value
  14. 14. @RegJoeConsults!14
  15. 15. …taken to design meetings where they are used to provide a physical reference for discussion and analysis. @RegJoeConsults!15
  16. 16. !16 Throwaway versus Evolutionary Which do we use?
  17. 17. As I see it, knowing how to prototype, test, and evaluate results quickly is the most valuable skill for designers of persuasive technology. BJ Fogg, “Crea)ng Persuasive Technologies: An Eight-­‐Step Design Process” http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/3978302604/ @RegJoeConsultsI17 Cycle of Design
  18. 18. The Perils of Prototyping Which is harder to change: a program with 1000 lines of code or a 1000 square foot slab of concrete? § The concrete is ten inches thick and has steel reinforcing rods criss-crossing within it. Every cubic foot of it weighs almost 100 pounds. § The software has almost no physical existence at all. It weighs nothing. It consumes no space. A few microamps and those bits flip from zero to one without a second glance. The answer to my question seems a simple one, doesn’t it? http://www.cooper.com/journal/2008/05/the_perils_of_prototyping @RegJoeConsults!18
  19. 19. This is the first one. This is it exactly. This is my hand-wired prototype, not a real Apple I or Apple ][ PC board. There are 4 white 2KB EPROMs on the upper board - that's how I developed BASIC and all the other routines of the Apple I. This is an Apple ] [ prototype. I can tell by how few chips it is. The Apple I had a computer board attached to my video terminal board, in the prototype stage." __Steve Wozniak hUp://www.geekculture.com/joyoWech/joystuff/apple1cake/firstapple.jpg @RegJoeConsults!19
  20. 20. Use evolutionary prototypes (EVPs) when… §User requirements are (almost) defined. §Few interaction and visual design problems exist, and information architecture is defined. §UX team is highly experienced. §UXers also create the deployable front-end code. §Usability testing is summative, not formative. § Project requires little documentation. !20
  21. 21. Use throwaway prototypes (TAPs) when… §User requirements are ill-defined. §Major interaction or visual design (or both) issues remain, and the IA is not well defined. §You have less experienced UXers. §UX does not do development. §Usability testing is formative and occurs multiple times throughout the project. § Project requires detailed documentation. !21
  22. 22. Screen comps Axure/Balsamiq/ iPlotz/iMockup... Hand-­‐coded HTML TAP TAP/EVP @RegJoeConsults!22 TAP EVP Paper Sketchflow/Expression Edge Fireworks
  23. 23. !23 Case Study Melding sketches, quick wireframes, and prototyping
  24. 24. The Project: Redesign site into a modern, user-centered experience @RegJoeConsults!24 From this… To this…
  25. 25. We Did… §Heuristic analysis §Data analysis §Market research analysis § Personas §Mood boards & visual design § User journeys/scenarios @RegJoeConsults!25
  26. 26. Mobile First
  27. 27. Mobile 2
  28. 28. Digital Exploration !28 Carrier 12:00 PM Page Title http://www.domain.com Google 1 Classic w/Trip + 2 Classic 3 Basic Benefits Coverages Up to 150% of amount purchased Up to 150% of amount purchased $356 $326 $256 Up to 150% of amount purchased Trip interruption protection Trip interruption protection Trip interruption protection Trip interruption protection Trip interruption protection 1 2 3
  29. 29. !29 Desktop sketch
  30. 30. .. !30
  31. 31. More Realized Sketches -- Version 1 !31
  32. 32. More Realized Sketches -- Version 2 !32
  33. 33. Prototyping in Axure (but it could be anything) @RegJoeConsults!33
  34. 34. !34 Many thanks! Joe Sokohl joe@RegularJoeConsulting.com @RegJoeConsults

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