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
These days, it’s easy to design mobile user experiences using powerful tools such as Axure RP, Blueprint, or Protot.io. But when creating early mobile designs, we should still start with the same simple sketching techniques that we’ve traditionally used for desktop designs. Now, there are apps that let us get our sketches on real mobile devices for demos and usability testing. In this article, I’ll share some of my favorite tools for sketching mobile user experiences.
When I first started designing user experiences for mobile devices, there were almost no tools whose specific purpose was sketching hand-held user interfaces. Designers were creating six-ups and Photoshop and Illustrator templates for their own use, but since these belonged to individual designers or design agencies, few became resources for the larger UX community. Fortunately, the landscape has changed, and many tools and resources are now available for designers to sketch mobile user interfaces—working within the constraints of device screen sizes—then turn their sketches into interactive prototypes. Read More
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