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The Usable Consultant: Interactive Prototyping (16 May 2005)
To counter this, we need prototypes we can create quickly with a minimum of effort. Paper prototypes are the favored solution. In the must-have Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces (Morgan Kaufmann 2003), Carolyn Snyder defines paper prototyping as a variation of usability testing where representative users perform realistic tasks by interacting with a paper version of the interface that is manipulated by a person "playing computer" who doesn't explain how the interface is intended to work.

I love paper prototyping and find it particularly effective in the early stages of development with low-fidelity models. But I'm not here to talk about paper prototypes. Snyder's book (and the Nielsen Norman Group's helpful DVD) gives you everything you need.

For higher fidelity models, I'm more interested in digital prototypes--those that look and "work" much like the finished site or application. Unfortunately, these draw the most fervent objections because of the perceived need to dedicate scarce resources to build the prototype in HTML, VB, Dreamweaver or other tool.

Wouldn't it be great if there were a way to create digital, interactive prototypes as quickly and easily as paper prototypes? One that didn't require a programmer? One that didn't duplicate efforts? One that could handle high-fidelity designs as well as low-fidelity?
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