Learn how UX prototyping eliminates the risk of developing products that aren't usable, and helps designers communicate their designs and vision through prototypes. In this tutorial, Diane Cronenwett, describes the key reasons why UX designers prototype.
- [Instructor] One of the key things to understand about prototyping is that it's not about the tool, it's about the design. The tool is there to support the design, but the design is the primary focus. Some reasons why we prototype are to limit the expense of development costs, test out design concepts, refine the usability of the product, and as a communication tool that you can use to show members of your project team. Building products is expense and prototyping it off fidelities helps to eliminate the risk of investing in a product that doesn't resonate with users, isn't easy to use, or doesn't solve the right business problems.
Prototyping also helps designers sort through some design concepts and can be used as a mechanism to generate customer feedback you can iterate on. Let me share some more examples for why we prototype. We might prototype to validate new ideas. In example validating new product ideas, might be that the business wants to try out a new product. Before making a significant investment, sketching how that might work and testing the idea in a low cost way, will give enough direction to determine if it's a product or feature worth investing in before spending the resources.
There's multiple ways to solve a design problem and as part of the design process, often times multiple ideas and layouts might be prototyped to determine which design direction is best for the business and the users. Getting early feedback on a design helps shape the direction of the product. A third reason we might prototype is to determine if a product experience is usable. Prototypes for usability testing are typically a little more detailed and higher fidelity. Because at this point, the design direction has already been sorted out and now the feedback is focused on whether the product is usable.
The kind of feedback you might look for in this phase would include what kind of data is displayed. Are the button labels clear? And are the actions all understood? All elements of the design at this level, including labels and text, are fair game for feedback in high fidelity prototypes. We also prototype to communicate an idea or a vision, prototypes are great for communicating to others how your design is going to work. If you present your work to others on a regular basis, it's a good habit to have a prototype ready just in case so you can answer the how will it work question.
Prototypes of all kinds are typically iterated on and it's not uncommon to update the prototype as you get feedback and incorporate into the next version of that prototype and in some cases, you may have to start over with a new design and a whole new prototype.
Explore the benefits, techniques, and tools of prototyping in this introductory course with designer Diane Cronenwett. Diane covers the basics of building effective prototypes with the right "fidelity," and getting more valuable feedback from your design testing. Learn how to build simple, satisfying prototypes on paper, and use digital prototyping tools like Moqups, InVision, and Axure to add interactivity and animation.
- What is a prototype?
- How prototyping helps user experience
- Defining prototype goals
- Sketching ideas
- Creating paper prototypes
- Building low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes
- Creating HTML prototypes
- Testing and evaluating prototypes
- Choosing the right prototyping tool