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The power of paper prototyping website interfaces

The power of paper prototyping website interfaces

Sketch it. Test it. Implement it. Sounds simple and obvious doesn’t it, but paper prototyping is often overlooked when creating a website.

How does prototyping work? Using paper sketches of your website interface you can quickly get feedback from users on what works, what doesn’t, what is instinctive and then take this information and implement it into the final interface design.

Paper Prototyping

As part of the website scoping process we create wireframes that start to depict the components of the new website and their hierarchy on the page. Paper prototyping then tests what we have created in the wireframes and cements the user experience throughout the site.

Paper Prototyping – this is how to do it.

When running a paper prototyping session it is important to have a team member interacting with the test subject and another team member observing their body language and looking for pauses and confusion in how they are interacting with the interface.  Results can be surprising, all too often what we consider to be instinctive with the latest jquery scripts for example, is in fact not obvious to the target audience. It is easy to loose sight of this as we live and breath website design and interaction. Paper prototyping gives you the chance to stop and evaluate the process and tap into the users of the website. It is cheap, quick and can save you lots of money in time or coding costs down the track. So why not give it a go.

Paper Prototyping is not just a great process for website design, use if for software development, e-commerce, hand held device design and development and I have even seen it used for an electronic ticketing machine. Paper Prototype for an electronic ticketing system

Yours in design


Belinda Vesey-Brown About the author
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