non-web-based interaction prototype tools (Axure)

10 Sep 2008 - 9:57pm
5 years ago
5 replies
2064 reads
Shaun Bergmann
2007

Further to the conversation happening right now regarding the patterns that
Loren Baxter has so graciously put out (nice work Loren):
I'm wondering if there are other applications out there that can handle the
prototyping of interactive products that are not so web based.

In my world, I primarily work with non-web-based interactive products.
(touch screens that interact with multiple audio zones, multiple audio
sources, security cameras, HVAC systems, security cameras, gate control
etc).
The end result is a single touchscreen that can control the gamut of all of
the above.
Obviously, the interaction possibilities of the single 800x600 pixel
interface are all over the map:

From controlling the Air Conditioning or Heat in the Master Bedroom, to
opening the south gate allowing your dinner guests in, to drilling down to
the MP3 control of the audio zone in the Main Parlour. (replicating the
control of the iPod you've plugged into a docking station somewhere for a
specific zone somewhere in the house with volume and mute.)

The one screen has a myriad of possibilities, none of which need to comply
with the known limitations of a web based interaction.

For the first 4 or 5 years, I used Adobe Fireworks to create screen shot
prototypes of what each screen would look like, and then mock the
functionality up in the proprietary touchscreen software put out by AMX.
This is time consuming, and not ideal.

I've since started to use Axure to do this prototyping, but have found that
I spend just about as much time trying to tweak a "web based' interaction
tool to force it to emulate a touchscreen device as I would normally spend
in just doing the design in Fireworks in the first place.

I love what Axure can do, but it's really not geared to interaction outside
of the web sphere without tweaking.

Does anybody know of a platform that is more geared towards the touchscreen
world of multiple functionality when it comes to laying out the basic flow
of a prototype?

Shaun

Comments

11 Sep 2008 - 6:42am
.pauric
2006

I cannot speak to the versatility of Omnigraffle enough, roughly at
the same level as Visio but it just has some je nais sais que mojo
that enables design 'flow' and makes this app a true joy to use
once mastered. That's not to say its perfect for everyone.
However, I've used it for web, embedded html, handheld device & now
primarily application interface design and cant really fault it.
http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnigraffle/

Regarding touch screen design, while you may still have to tweak a
stencil for your specific application if you take a look through
http://graffletopia.com/ I think you'll find many of the building
blocks you'll need. Note the iPhone stencil.

The killer feature, for me, is the export to clickable pdf. Its
seamless and generates prototypes that give the best bang-for-buck*
usability feedback in my experience.
http://urlgreyhot.com/personal/weblog/creating_prototypes_with_omnigraffle
*=not necessarily as complete or interactive as Axure, so it doesnt
really scale up to super complex interactions but if you need to get
something done yesterday that good enough, then this format works
just fine.

regards /pauric

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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11 Sep 2008 - 7:47am
Hans Petter Eide
2008

Sorry for hi-jacking the thread, but I just cannot find out how to
post a new message to the list (bad usability?) :)

My problem is quite similar to the one Shaun posted earlier. I'm
currently working on my master-thesis in HCI, and the topic is making
a positioning system for a hospital as useable as possible. For the
prototype I'm going to make an interactive prototype which involves
selecting e.g. a doctor from a list. The prototype should then show
his current position and hopefully also him moving around in the
room. I was thinking about doing this in Flash, but I'm not to happy
about doing it in Flash as I find it cluttered when it comes to making
fairly complicated prototypes.

I looked at Axure which looks promising. However I see as a
prototyping tool mainly for web applications, with little
possibilities to model extensive user interactions (e.g. drag and
drop, moving items etc.) Would you recommend Flash, or is there
another tool that fulfills my needs?

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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12 Sep 2008 - 8:52am
Shaun Bergmann
2007

Omnigraffle. Yet another reason to get a Mac.

Perhaps we're just in a grey zone, time wise. A few years ago there
were not enough designers out there working on touchscreen devices, so
there was no business case for creating the appropriate tool to use in
the design process.
Now as these devices are just beginning to proliferate, the call will
get louder from us for somebody to step up and provide an appropriate
tool.
anyone? anyone?
Beuler?

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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12 Sep 2008 - 4:22pm
adamya ashk
2004

For a really quick hack you can always use powerpoint but keeping
track of the nodes becomes really tiring for anything beyond a few
screens and effects are really limited :-)

It's been a decade since I did anything like this but bitmaps strung
together with Authorware used be a really good solution. It has a
reasonable visualization mode and a drag and drop interface.
(http://www.adobe.com/products/authorware/productinfo/features/)

HTH,

-Adamya

On Fri, 12 Sep 2008 06:52:20, Shaun Bergmann <shaunbergmann at gmail.com> wrote:
> Omnigraffle. Yet another reason to get a Mac.
>
> Perhaps we're just in a grey zone, time wise. A few years ago there
> were not enough designers out there working on touchscreen devices, so
> there was no business case for creating the appropriate tool to use in
> the design process.
> Now as these devices are just beginning to proliferate, the call will
> get louder from us for somebody to step up and provide an appropriate
> tool.
> anyone? anyone?
> Beuler?
>
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32876
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
>
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> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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21 Sep 2008 - 2:59pm
Damon Dimmick
2008

I actually just did a review of OmniGraffle a while ago. Might be
useful. You can find it here:

http://www.sitepen.com/blog/2008/09/04/the-interactive-prototyping-dilemma-a-review-of-software-options/

More reviews will be on the way.

-Damon

Shaun Bergmann wrote:
> Omnigraffle. Yet another reason to get a Mac.
>
> Perhaps we're just in a grey zone, time wise. A few years ago there
> were not enough designers out there working on touchscreen devices, so
> there was no business case for creating the appropriate tool to use in
> the design process.
> Now as these devices are just beginning to proliferate, the call will
> get louder from us for somebody to step up and provide an appropriate
> tool.
> anyone? anyone?
> Beuler?
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32876
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

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