November 3rd, 2009

Prototyping with paper, scissors and glue

It is my first day at J.Boye Aarhus 2009 and after getting up at 3:35 this morning I arrived in time to turn up to the second tutorial. I decided to go to Prototyping: Fun with Paper, Pen, Scissor and Glue Stick by Henrik Olsen.

This was a fantastic session where we spent most of the time mocking up a website where you can register for courses using only what the course title suggests.

After splitting into group we spent one and a half hours creating an interface, it was really good to get away from a computer to do this and to have the immediacy of moving different components around, throwing them away (literally) and creating new ones. What we came up with was purely functional design but one where we could test the entire work flow of a user finding and registering a course.

Prototype of course website

Choice in prototype

After we had come up with the interface we swapped with members of another group to test each others interface. We split into the following:

  • Subject: the person who tests the interface
  • Computer: the person who changes the paper prototype according to what actions the subject carries out
  • Instructor: Provides the subject with tasks to test the prototype
  • Observer: notes down the test

This was a very quick and easy 5 minute test and it was amazing how much information we got out of it. I felt that after this test we could have gone straight to design and development. Of course with more complex sites and designs, you would need more iterations.

After the test I had a look at the other designs and it was interesting how other people and set theirs up. This one for instance they had really thought about a home page.

Home page prototype

I feel this is very valuable option in mocking up websites and one I will be using with future web sites.

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John says:

will be researching further into this

Klaus-M. Schremser ( says:

Hi Philip,

thanks for our teamwork in this workshop - was great.

br, kms

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