Handy paper prototyping hints from lynda.com

(Published 9/12/13, link here)

Materials

  • Tape a printout of the test device (phone, tablet) to cardboard so it’s more weighty for users and more durable
  • Leave a white frame around the device for visual context
  • Trim out card stock the exact size of the screen
  • Draw/tape UI elements on cards
  • Layer multiple cards together on the device printout, using removable double-sided tape
  • Try printing out multiple instances of UI elements and cutting them apart to mix n match. Store elements in an organizer container
  • Cut sticky address labels in thin strips—you can use them to quickly add UI (like a link or button) on the fly during testing
  • Use folds to simulate interactivity—draw/print out an accordion unit w the first drawer open; fold to close and open it
  • Use tracing paper for full-screen modal overlays
  • Use stickies for small modal popups

Testing

  • Give users a quick overview of what you are expecting them to do in a session
  • Then hand users the screens, giving them tasks but not telling them how to achieve them
  • Make sure your instructions don’t use words on the UI (such as “Enter”) so that you don’t tip off users
  •  Capture notes, problems, experience bumps and ideas, one per sticky. You can later put them on the wall to organize into themes and prioritize
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