Day 7: Me-fi prototypes

By the end of the seventh day most of the groups finalized their paper prototypes or interactive wireframes. As the final outcome will be different for each group, we are not sticking too tightly to the initial schedule.

For medium fidelity prototypes one might use several tools.

Tips for possible options are gathered here.

Work in progress

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Day 6: Sketching lo-fi prototypes

All groups were finishing up their personas, scenarios and user stories. Also some sketching was done – most participants used paper and pen but some composed views with online tools such as Balsamiq. Next step was to plan and conduct the test session. For now, feedback from peers would be enough but perhaps we will do more advanced testing with me-fi or hi-fi mockups.

Some pictures from today’s work.

Day 6: Testing

Before conducting lo-fi prototype testing, consider these points:

  1. Understand what should be especially tested – Scenarios, tasks, goals
  2. Build, with minimum effort, the most critical views – Use paper, pen, post-it notes and stencils – Or use online mockup tools
  3. Plan how to conduct the test session – Who, where, roles, documentation

A simple script (example) for paper/mockup prototype test might include:

  • a list of task names and numbers
  • brief scenarios and tasks
  • assumed steps to complete these scenario related tasks – this is a note for yourself
  • descriptions of end-results; when the task is completed

Roles

User (or two) represents the target market and perform realistic tasks using the prototype.

Facilitator runs the session. Main responsibility is to ensure that the session isn’t too stressful on the test participants, who tend to blame themselves if problems occur. On the other hand, the facilitator needs to probe into the issues that arise. These two issues should be balanced.

Members of the development team are observers, taking notes about what works well for the users and what confuses them.

Computer manipulates the paper interface pieces to mimic the behavior of the system. The Computer does not explain the interface (most machines can’t talk), so it’s up to the users to figure out how to accomplish their tasks.

Carolyn Snyder

Testing session

A test session could consist for instance of following steps:

  1. Greetings; introducing team members and explaining the test method
  2. Mention that it is not a user who is tested but the system
  3. Start with light background questions
  4. Explain briefly what is the starting point, e.g. “This is landing page of ourapp.com, it is a …”
  5. Introduce the “Computer” and give instructions, e.g. “Point with your finger/mouse to simulate a click”
  6. Remind the participant to think aloud, e.g. “I think this link would lead me to…”
  7. Introduce the first task, make sure that it’s clear for the user
  8. Move to the next task when the goal is achieved or user expresses that he/she does not know the answer
  9. Conclude the test session by asking if the user has anything to add
  10. Thank the participant and discuss the results with your team

Examples

Paper prototype test

Just for fun

Rather relaxed approach to prototyping

Testing with fruits

Day 5: Lo-fi prototypes

The aim of our fifth day was to start working on the low fidelity prototypes, either on paper or with online mockup tools such as e.g. Codiqa, Mockingbird, Fluid, an similar.

At this stage, prototype drafts can be really simple and doodle-like. Paper and pen are great tools! For more advanced paper prototyping one can use scissors, tape, printable stencils or a printed wireframes. However, for instance a simple white A4 works just fine for representing a regular browser window.

Wireframes – simple structures without specific graphical treatment – and stage transition diagrams will help to outline views needed for covering most critical user stories. User stories are derived from the scenarios in which personas are interacting with the system. In other words, user stories that will be tested should be based on the narratives (scenarios) of the likely situations in which the product is used. The main concern in lo-fi prototyping is not to get distracted by all little details but to concentrate on the most essential views.

Daily brief

Work in progress

Day 2 & 3: Brainstorming, forming groups

“Which problem would you like to solve?”

During Tuesday afternoon participants collaboratively created various ideas for EID course with a help of brainstorming, exchanging thoughts and writing down simple notes on the whiteboard.

As a homework, students were asked to process their ideas and create a simple pitch in which they would briefly describe a problem they would like to work on – supported with one optional slide and a vision regarding possible solution.

During Wednesday classes, pitched ideas were highlighted and discussed; some combined, some left aside. In the afternoon, students selected their teams and opened documentation blogs that listed here. Next stop: personas, scenarios and user stories!

Snapshots of the first days

Day 1 & 2: Introduction

Welcome to Experimental Interaction Design course!

Introduction

Lectures

During the first days we heard five lectures regarding topics such as fundamentals of new media, ubiquitous interaction, sustainable and responsiveness as well as new trends in technology.