Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces (Interactive Technologies) ペーパーバック – 2003/4/2
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Do you spend a lot of time during the design process wondering what users really need? Do you hate those endless meetings where you argue how the interface should work? Have you ever developed something that later had to be completely redesigned?
Paper Prototyping can help. Written by a usability engineer with a long and successful paper prototyping history, this book is a practical, how-to guide that will prepare you to create and test paper prototypes of all kinds of user interfaces. You'll see how to simulate various kinds of interface elements and interactions. You'll learn about the practical aspects of paper prototyping, such as deciding when the technique is appropriate, scheduling the activities, and handling the skepticism of others in your organization. Numerous case studies and images throughout the book show you real world examples of paper prototyping at work.
Learn how to use this powerful technique to develop products that are more useful, intuitive, efficient, and pleasing:
* Save time and money - solve key problems before implementation begins
* Get user feedback early - use it to focus the development process
* Communicate better - involve development team members from a variety of disciplines
* Be more creative - experiment with many ideas before committing to one
*Enables designers to solve design problems before implementation begins
*Five case studies provide real world examples of paper prototyping at work
*Delves into the specifics of what types of projects paper prototyping is and isn't good for.
Carolyn Snyder is an internationally recognized usability consultant with 10 years of experience in usability and another 10 as a software engineer and project manager. She has taught usability testing and paper prototyping to development teams at dozens of companies. She is co-author of Web Site Usability: A Designer’s Guide and E-Commerce User Experience.
If you are thinking on how to improve usability or conducting some usability testing within your company for the first time, this is a great book. If you already have experience in usability testing and paper prototyping, this book will bee too basic.
The book provides a lot of information that would be useful to sell usability activities within your organization and a lot of simple and short chapters that you could have some other colleagues read to get them introduced to these concepts.
Overall, the book is well written and practical. Although the book is on paper prototype, there are many concepts around usability that are explained in simple terms.
The only thing that really bothers me (and this is nit-picky, I know) is that if you're going to publish a book for an audience that contains many designers (or people with eyes for that matter), please have a professional do the actual book layout. This thing is painful to read. It looks like it was laid out in Microsoft word by someone in high school using every font at least once. The content is great, but it loses credibility when presented this way.
Even if you're not doing user testing on paper prototypes, you'll find her chapter on creating tasks for user tests invaluable, no matter what medium you're using.
If you are looking for a book on conducting quick usability testing with potential users without touching a computer, this book is for you.
If you are looking for special techniques that you think you're missing when it comes to modelling on paper, then look elsewhere. You would do just as well to read the remainer of this review.
A summary: Draw a complete interface, including buttons, menus, and other interface elements on a bunch of sheets of paper -- one piece for every window, dialog, or behavior. Don't use a ruler. Hold the pieces of paper in front of a potential user. Have them attempt to perform tasks relevant to your system without how-to assistance. After a few users, you'll have a good idea of what's utterly unusable.
The first part of the book describes putting together a paper prototype and has suggestions about making a prototype that is 'interactive' with buttons that change and so on. Mostly, it's encouragement to try it and to not be worried by drawing that's less than perfect.
The majority of the book is about running a usability test. Although slanted towards testing paper prototypes, this is valuable for anyone (experienced or not) who wants to improve their usability testing or to do a test for the first time. I've been testing for years now and found much in it that was helpful. It's also my 'get you started' recommendation for complete beginners.