UIEtips Article: Streamlining the Design Process with Paper Prototyping: An Interview with Carolyn Snyder
January 30th, 2007
UIEtips 1/30/07: Streamlining the Design Process with Paper Prototyping: An Interview with Carolyn Snyder
Even though paper prototyping surfaced back in the days when I was admiring Members Only jackets and leg warmers, only over the past several years has it come into “high fashion,” adopted in most successful organizations. But once its benefits were realized, paper prototyping was well on its way to becoming one of the most attractive usability testing methods.
Just as fashion designers repeatedly sketch out and model their ideas for a new clothing line, design teams create multiple prototypes of their products before beginning mass production. Getting a design right the first time is only possible if you are Coco Chanel, and since her time has come and gone, design teams are forced to iterate, iterate, iterate.
That’s why paper prototypes are so valuable. Design teams can build interfaces using basic office supplies and gather valuable feedback from users with minimal effort very early on in the design process.
While no usability testing technique is perfect (did you see Cameron Diaz’s Valentino dress at the 2007 Golden Globes?), the amount of time, money, and frustration paper prototyping saves makes it one of our favorite tools for gaining quick insights. Paper prototyping is only going to continue to grow in popularity as its methods are proven valuable time and time again.
In this issue of UIEtips, UIE’s Ashley McKee sat down with Carolyn Snyder, author of Paper Prototyping, and founder of Snyder Consulting, to get answers to some of the most pervasive questions surrounding paper prototyping. I believe Carolyn’s responses to these questions are invaluable to any design team considering paper prototyping, and hope you do too.
Is your organization currently using paper prototypes? Did you experience any major benefits or drawbacks? Are you considering the technique? Is there anything holding you back? Tell us your thoughts. Leave a comment and join the discussion below.
[If you enjoy today’s UIEtips article, you’ll definitely want to check out Carolyn Snyder’s upcoming Virtual Seminar, Paper Prototyping: Streamlining the User-Centered Design Process, on February 6th. Space is limited so sign up today ]Tweet