in User Centered Design

Prototyping

UI designers must be able to transform and visualize vague ideas, incomplete briefs, unclear business inputs into tangible prototypes & interfaces. It’s the interface designer’s duty to seek clarity on all such inputs. UI designers must help Users easily communicate their requirements.

As for me, I primarily use Microsoft PowerPoint to design the wire-frames and Visio to design the Process Flow Maps and Task Flow Maps. Some interface designers are comfortable with MS-Excel!

These come handy while using participatory design methodology. This format can be easily understood and discussed by Customers & the development, UI design and business teams. Users respond easily to visual interfaces.

It’s easier to give a tangible form to following using PowerPoint prototypes.
– Site structure
– Navigation flow
– Information architecture

Advantages
– Its is interactive.
– Its easy to create and modify. It can be created in no time.
– Dummy real time results can be simulated without writing any backend code.
– Its tangible enough for the Customers & teams to discuss concepts.

Looks what Cooper’s gotta say on Prototyping.
The Perils of Prototyping by Alan Cooper, Chairman & Founder, Aug/Sep 1994 Originally Published in Visual Basic Programmer’s Journal

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