Throughout my career as a user experience designer, I have continually asked myself three questions:
What should my deliverables be?
Will my deliverables provide clarity to me and their audience?
Where do my deliverables and other efforts fit within the spectrum of UX design?
I have found that, if I do not answer these questions prior to creating a deliverable, my churn rate increases and deadlines slip.
When attempting to answer the third question, I use a framework I discovered early in my career: The Five Competencies of User Experience Design.PDF This framework comprises the competencies a UX professional or team requires. The following sections describe these five competencies, outline some questions each competency must answer, and show the groundwork and deliverables for which each competency is responsible. Read More
A prototype is a primitive representation or version of a product that a design team or front-end-development team typically creates during the design process. The goal of a prototype is to test the flow of a design solution and gather feedback on it—from both internal and external parties—before constructing the final product. The state of a prototype is fluid as the team revises the design iteratively based on user feedback.
Why Are Prototypes Important?
Tom and David Kelley of the design company IDEO have perfectly summed up the importance of prototyping by saying:
“If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a prototype is worth 1,000 meetings.” Read More
UX designers have long promoted paper prototyping as the ideal way to quickly create and test new designs. In comparison to older methods of digital prototyping, creating paper prototypes is much quicker, easier, requires no technical skills, makes iteration easier, and focuses less on design perfection. Plus, participants feel more comfortable in criticizing sketches rather than polished designs.
But, over the last few years, many new design and prototyping tools have emerged that let UX designers create highly interactive prototypes quickly and easily, realistically simulating interactions and transitions without any coding. More tools seem to come out every day. With so many great, new prototyping tools, is doing paper prototyping still worthwhile? Have these new tools finally caught up with the advantages of paper prototypes, while transcending paper’s disadvantages? In this column, I’ll answer these questions. Read More