L10.prototype.lowfi

L10.prototype.lowfi - An ongoing controversy exists in the...

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High- 00 i n t e r a c t i o n s . . . j a n u a r y 1 9 9 6 76 Low vs. An ongoing con- troversy exists in the prototyping community about how close- ly in form and function a user- interface proto- type should rep- resent the final product. This dispute is referred to as the “Low-versus High-Fidelity Prototyping Debate.’’ In this article, we dis- cuss arguments for and against low-and high- fidelity proto- types, guidelines for the use of rapid user- interface proto- typing, and the implications for user-interface designers.
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- Fidelity 00 i n t e r a c t i o n s . . . j a n u a r y 1 9 9 6 a r t i c l e Although prototyping has been recognized as an efficient and effective means of developing user interfaces for some time [8] and has become an integral part of the development process in many organizations (e.g., [10,17]), the optimum methods of proto- typing have not yet been agreed upon. We know that, if done systematically, prototyp- ing provides the means to model software applications to support the evaluation of design alternatives early in the product development cycle. We understand that the use of iterative design promotes the refine- ment and optimization of interfaces through discussion, exploration, testing, and iterative revision. The experiences of many designers in developing and evaluat- ing user-interface prototypes provide testi- monials regarding the many applications and benefits of prototypes (e.g., [3, 5]). The low-versus high-fidelity debate lies in the fidelity of prototype required to illus- trate a concept, model design alternatives, or test an application. The debate rages to whether prototypes need to be complete, realistic, or reusable to be effective. 77 Jim Rudd Ken Stern Scott Isensee Prototyping Debate
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78 i n t e r a c t i o n s . . . j a n u a r y 1 9 9 6 L ow-fidelity prototypes are generally limit- ed function, limited interaction prototyp- ing efforts. They are constructed to depict concepts, design alternatives, and screen layouts, rather than to model the user interaction with a system. Storyboard presentations and proof-of- concept prototypes fall into this category. In gen- eral, low-fidelity prototypes are constructed quickly and provide limited or no functionality. Low-fidelity prototypes demonstrate the general look and perhaps the feel of the interface; they are not intended to show in detail how the appli- cation operates. These prototypes are created to communicate, educate, and inform,but not to train, test, or serve as a basis from which to code. Tullis [13] contends that the fidelity of a pro- totype is judged by how it appears to the person viewing it, and not by its similarity to the actual application. In other words, the degree to which the prototype accurately represents the appear- ance and interaction of the product is the deter- mining factor in prototype fidelity, not the degree to which the code and other attributes invisible to the user are accurate.
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