what's the obessions with Visio?/Prototyping tools

6 Apr 2006 - 1:53pm
8 years ago
2 replies
633 reads
jay hilwig
2006

In my experience it seems the more a group has the resources/headcount, the
higher the fidelity of a prototype is possible. If it's a small company, or
more developer/non-designer oriented, prototyping tools seem to fall along
the lines of Visio, PowerPoint, MS Paint, and paper napkin ;) Visio is a bit
of a standard as it has a large install base, people are comfortable with
Office products, and no coding required.

In usability testing I have seen valuable data coming from both highly
interactive applications as well as paper prototyping. What tool to use
obviously depends on your overall goal, but higher realism requires
expertise and time.

Personally, I use Director for rich "click-thru" type demos and prototypes
(a linear series of events that will be presented to an audience or tasks
for usability). Flash for non-linear simulated application prototyping.

Re: Sparkle or MSFT Expression Interactive Designer, development has been
halted:
http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/applications/0,39020384,39257066,00.htm

..but sounds like the product has not been killed. I was very interested in
this App as it promised true devloper&designer integration (XAML). In my
limited use with the app and public forums this came across as more of a
developer tool than Flash (but new apps require new thinking!).

_jay

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Andrei
Sedelnikov
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 8:59 AM
To: Pashmina
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] what's the obessions with Visio?

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

How about Sparkle? Did anyone already try to use it for Prototyping?

regards,
Andrej Sedelnikov
usabilist.de

On 4/5/06, Pashmina <pashmina at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>
> I'm quite curious about everyone's general feelings about Visio. I see so
> many job descriptions where Visio is a required software skill for IA or
> IxD's and I just don't get it! What is the obsession with Microsoft
> Visio?Who set
> that as a standard? When did it become a standard?
>
> Personally, I can't stand Visio, and I won't to use it to mock up
wireframes
> or process flows. I find that powerpoint can be very useful because you
can
> send those to anyone. And I particularly like using Flash to make mocks,
> because both the designer and coders are happy with Flash too. Designers
> can add a layer to my frames and start putting in graphics and interface
> elements. The coders can use the pixel guides to break it down into CSS.
>
> Visio in the hands of a somewhat decent IA, but with really horrible
> awareness for interaction design, can just become a nightmare.
>
> Anyway, I don't understand how a field so new, could have job req that
limit
> the types of tools we use in our practice.
>
> pashmina
> ________________________________________________________________
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--
Andrei Sedelnikov
http://usabilist.de/
________________________________________________________________
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Comments

6 Apr 2006 - 10:30pm
dszuc
2005

Suggest that *available time* and *project timings* are also factors.

In a *rapid application* development environment sometimes using paper, pencil,
eraser, blue tac and post its etc - to play around with different concepts &
behaviours can be extremely useful before moving it into a *development tool*
of choice (doing this on a project at the moment).

Using the *development tool* too early can a) Slow down the process and b) Be
not as collaborative as paper prototyping.

Have also noticed that sometimes developers/designers can get caught up in the
tool and its functions (I call it 'fuzting with the tool') instead of focusing
on the design & interactions.

rgds,

Daniel Szuc
Principal Usability Consultant
Apogee Usability Asia Ltd
www.apogeehk.com
'Usability in Asia'

Quoting jay hilwig <jayhilwig at hotmail.com>:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> In my experience it seems the more a group has the resources/headcount, the
> higher the fidelity of a prototype is possible. If it's a small company, or
> more developer/non-designer oriented, prototyping tools seem to fall along
> the lines of Visio, PowerPoint, MS Paint, and paper napkin ;) Visio is a bit
> of a standard as it has a large install base, people are comfortable with
> Office products, and no coding required.
>
> In usability testing I have seen valuable data coming from both highly
> interactive applications as well as paper prototyping. What tool to use
> obviously depends on your overall goal, but higher realism requires
> expertise and time.
>
> Personally, I use Director for rich "click-thru" type demos and prototypes
> (a linear series of events that will be presented to an audience or tasks
> for usability). Flash for non-linear simulated application prototyping.
>
> Re: Sparkle or MSFT Expression Interactive Designer, development has been
> halted:
> http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/applications/0,39020384,39257066,00.htm
>
> ..but sounds like the product has not been killed. I was very interested in
> this App as it promised true devloper&designer integration (XAML). In my
> limited use with the app and public forums this came across as more of a
> developer tool than Flash (but new apps require new thinking!).
>
> _jay
>

7 Apr 2006 - 9:05am
ldebett
2004

This is walking down the path of what the book "Serious Play" by Michael
Schrage covers quite nicely. He talks about how people's behavior changes
with prototypes of various levels of fidelity. If you haven't read it, I
recommend it. I found it incredibly enlightening. =)

~Lisa

On 4/6/06, Daniel Szuc <dszuc at apogeehk.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Suggest that *available time* and *project timings* are also factors.
>
> In a *rapid application* development environment sometimes using paper,
> pencil,
> eraser, blue tac and post its etc - to play around with different concepts
> &
> behaviours can be extremely useful before moving it into a *development
> tool*
> of choice (doing this on a project at the moment).
>
> Using the *development tool* too early can a) Slow down the process and b)
> Be
> not as collaborative as paper prototyping.
>
> Have also noticed that sometimes developers/designers can get caught up in
> the
> tool and its functions (I call it 'fuzting with the tool') instead of
> focusing
> on the design & interactions.
>
> rgds,
>
>
>

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