Prototyping Articles & Videos

  • Prototypes vs Wireframes in UX Projects

    An overview of the similarities and differences between user-interface wireframes and prototypes, as well as the audiences that are best suited for each.

  • Pencils vs. Pixels for UI Protyping and Sketching

    UX designers answer the question of when they prefer to use hand-drawn sketches of a user interface design vs. pixel-perfect designs generated on a computer.

  • Paper Prototyping 101

    Using paper prototypes is a great way to test a design idea and get usability feedback quickly. You can test whether a layout makes sense to users and make immediate changes if they run into issues.

  • Case Study: Iterative Design and Prototype Testing of the NN/g Homepage

    The NN/g homepage redesign relied on rapid iterative prototyping, and usability testing, to balance multiple design objectives.

  • Your Old Website Is the Best Prototype of Your New Website

    Don't waste time creating prototypes when the designs already exist in the real world. Before you throw out the old and bring in the new, perform user research on existing websites.

  • Just-Enough Prototypes Make Communicating Specs More Successful

    High-fidelity prototypes take too long to produce and are insufficient at identifying the nuances of complex interactions and logic.

  • Presenting Low-Fidelity Prototypes to Stakeholders

    Sharing low fidelity user-interface prototypes with stakeholders is a great way to transfer knowledge and get buy-in early.

  • UX Prototypes: Low Fidelity vs. High Fidelity

    No matter which prototyping tools you use, the same tips apply to preparing a user interface prototype for the most effective user research.

  • How UX Professionals Collaborate on Deliverables

    82% of UX professionals collaborate with other team members to produce deliverables. Ideation workshops and “four-eyes” reviews occur frequently, both in-person and remotely. In addition, the roles and contributions of collaborators vary widely.

  • Which UX Deliverables Are Most Commonly Created and Shared?

    Static wireframes are the most popular UX deliverable, but 11 different deliverable formats were used by at least half the professionals we surveyed.

  • Which Comes First? Layout or Content?

    Avoid awkward and difficult page layouts by fitting flexible templates to content whenever possible. Test often during design, and plan to scale up.

  • Test Paper Prototypes to Save Time and Money: The Mozilla Case Study

    Low-fidelity user testing of several iterations of Mozilla’s Support website quickly showed which user-interface elements worked best for Firefox users.

  • How Iterative Testing Decreased Support Calls By 70% on Mozilla's Support Website

    User research with data mining and paper prototyping quickly led to measurable success for one of the busiest support websites in the world.

  • UX Without User Research Is Not UX

    UX teams are responsible for creating desirable experiences for users. Yet many organizations fail to include users in the development process. Without customer input, organizations risk creating interfaces that fail.

  • Doing UX in an Agile World: Case Study Findings

    Agile teams are more proficient in executing the development process, but the compressed timescale forces some to abandon user research and degrade the resulting user experience.

  • Charrettes (Design Sketching): ½ Inspiration, ½ Buy-In

    Design charrettes inspire design sketches and ideas, include more people in the design process, explore and expose goals and objectives of colleagues in multiple functional roles, and drive off designer’s block.

  • Paper Prototyping: Getting User Data Before You Code

    With a paper prototype, you can user test early design ideas at an extremely low cost. Doing so lets you fix usability problems before you waste money implementing something that doesn't work.

  • Testing Whether Web Page Templates are Helpful

    By turning all text into gibberish, a usability test can focus on whether the *layout* of a Web template helps users navigate and use the page.

  • Usability Testing for the 1995 Sun Microsystems' Website

    Paper prototyping, card sorting, and traditional usability testing were all employed to guide the design of the 1995 Sun Microsystems' Web site.

  • Guerrilla HCI: Using Discount Usability Engineering to Penetrate the Intimidation Barrier

    Using Discount Usability Engineering to Penetrate the Intimidation Barrier,' paper by Jakob Nielsen on simpler and cheaper ways to a better UI;with examples of fast usability projects.

  • Prototypes vs Wireframes in UX Projects

    An overview of the similarities and differences between user-interface wireframes and prototypes, as well as the audiences that are best suited for each.

  • Pencils vs. Pixels for UI Protyping and Sketching

    UX designers answer the question of when they prefer to use hand-drawn sketches of a user interface design vs. pixel-perfect designs generated on a computer.

  • Paper Prototyping 101

    Using paper prototypes is a great way to test a design idea and get usability feedback quickly. You can test whether a layout makes sense to users and make immediate changes if they run into issues.

  • Your Old Website Is the Best Prototype of Your New Website

    Don't waste time creating prototypes when the designs already exist in the real world. Before you throw out the old and bring in the new, perform user research on existing websites.

  • Just-Enough Prototypes Make Communicating Specs More Successful

    High-fidelity prototypes take too long to produce and are insufficient at identifying the nuances of complex interactions and logic.

  • Presenting Low-Fidelity Prototypes to Stakeholders

    Sharing low fidelity user-interface prototypes with stakeholders is a great way to transfer knowledge and get buy-in early.

  • Case Study: Iterative Design and Prototype Testing of the NN/g Homepage

    The NN/g homepage redesign relied on rapid iterative prototyping, and usability testing, to balance multiple design objectives.

  • UX Prototypes: Low Fidelity vs. High Fidelity

    No matter which prototyping tools you use, the same tips apply to preparing a user interface prototype for the most effective user research.

  • How UX Professionals Collaborate on Deliverables

    82% of UX professionals collaborate with other team members to produce deliverables. Ideation workshops and “four-eyes” reviews occur frequently, both in-person and remotely. In addition, the roles and contributions of collaborators vary widely.

  • Which UX Deliverables Are Most Commonly Created and Shared?

    Static wireframes are the most popular UX deliverable, but 11 different deliverable formats were used by at least half the professionals we surveyed.

  • Which Comes First? Layout or Content?

    Avoid awkward and difficult page layouts by fitting flexible templates to content whenever possible. Test often during design, and plan to scale up.

  • Test Paper Prototypes to Save Time and Money: The Mozilla Case Study

    Low-fidelity user testing of several iterations of Mozilla’s Support website quickly showed which user-interface elements worked best for Firefox users.

  • How Iterative Testing Decreased Support Calls By 70% on Mozilla's Support Website

    User research with data mining and paper prototyping quickly led to measurable success for one of the busiest support websites in the world.

  • UX Without User Research Is Not UX

    UX teams are responsible for creating desirable experiences for users. Yet many organizations fail to include users in the development process. Without customer input, organizations risk creating interfaces that fail.

  • Doing UX in an Agile World: Case Study Findings

    Agile teams are more proficient in executing the development process, but the compressed timescale forces some to abandon user research and degrade the resulting user experience.

  • Charrettes (Design Sketching): ½ Inspiration, ½ Buy-In

    Design charrettes inspire design sketches and ideas, include more people in the design process, explore and expose goals and objectives of colleagues in multiple functional roles, and drive off designer’s block.

  • Paper Prototyping: Getting User Data Before You Code

    With a paper prototype, you can user test early design ideas at an extremely low cost. Doing so lets you fix usability problems before you waste money implementing something that doesn't work.

  • Testing Whether Web Page Templates are Helpful

    By turning all text into gibberish, a usability test can focus on whether the *layout* of a Web template helps users navigate and use the page.

  • Usability Testing for the 1995 Sun Microsystems' Website

    Paper prototyping, card sorting, and traditional usability testing were all employed to guide the design of the 1995 Sun Microsystems' Web site.

  • Guerrilla HCI: Using Discount Usability Engineering to Penetrate the Intimidation Barrier

    Using Discount Usability Engineering to Penetrate the Intimidation Barrier,' paper by Jakob Nielsen on simpler and cheaper ways to a better UI;with examples of fast usability projects.