L10.prototype.happyprototype - Never before has the human...

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Never before has the human factors professional had the opportunity to take a lead role in software develop- ment. Enabled by a vigorous focus on software usability and the avail- ability of a number of robust proto- typing tools, corporate human factors groups are making significant positive contributions to software development through software pro- totyping. However, a successful pro- totyping effort requires more than a prototyping tool and a background in user interface design. It has been our experience that the success of a protoryping effort is dependent on many factors, some obvious, some not so obvious, and others learned only through postgraduate training at the School of Hard Knocks. Put your feet up, grab a cup of coffee, and let us share with you some of the lessons we ’ve learned on the way to happier and healthier prototyping efforts. In no particular order: trying to convince the programmers that prototyping is a good idea. Don ’t waste your time convincing low-level programming managers that prototyping is a good thing. For that matter, don ’t even waste your time convincing your management that prototyping is a good thing. The peo- ple you have to convince are those that hold the purse strings for prod- uct development. Without their support, you will never be successful. The very best way to do this is to invite them into your lab, tell them about the benefits, relate success stories, and top the pitch off with a demo of your prototypes. We have found this to be the most effective way for communicating the power of prototyping and (as a very positive by-product) generating interesting, challenging work. interactions . . . january 1994
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Throw away your prototype That ’s right. Tear it into little pieces and start again. Don ’t expect it to be right the first time. You don ’t know your audience well enough. You do not fully know the limits of the prototyping tool. You will not know the application inside and out, and you don ’t know whether the developers can implement what you have prototyped. Prototyping is an iterative process, and you are going to learn as you go along. Leave enough time in your sched- ule to make radical changes based on the feedback you receive. Make prototypes with high fidelity We have found that high-fidelity prototypes are more suc- cessful at convincing management and development that a particular user interface approach will work. The higher the fidelity of the prototype the greater the perception that the design approach is feasible and the more likely it will be accepted. Don ’t be lazy. What ’s intuitive to you may not be to the developer. If you have the time (and we recommend that if you don ’t have the time, make the time), add minutiae to your prototype. Add error messages and help panels.
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course 1MD 001 taught by Professor Erikborälv during the Spring '09 term at Uppsala.

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L10.prototype.happyprototype - Never before has the human...

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