Svetlin Denkov is a UX Prototyper at GN ReSound in Chicago, where he builds highly interactive prototypes for mobile and tablet devices using different technologies. He has a Master’s Degree in HCI from DePaul University. Svetlin is also a leader at Chicago's chapter of IxDA which introduces technology events to the local UX community monthly. You can follow him on Twitter, where he posts on UX, Innovation, and Technology. You can also contact him via LinkedIn.
In a previous article, I discussed using POP to create sketch-based clickthrough prototypes in participatory design exercises. These prototypes capture well the flow and overall layout of early design alternatives.
The same piece briefly mentioned another category of clickthrough prototypes: widget-based mockups that are designed on the target device and that expand on sketches by introducing user interface (UI) details and increased visual fidelity. These prototypes can be used to pitch ideas to clients, document interactions and even test usability. In this article, I will teach you how to use the iPad app Blueprint to put together such prototypes in the form of concept demos, which help to manage a client’s expectations when you are aligning your visions of a product.
As UX professionals, we often lead design exercises with our stakeholders, including immediate team members and external clients. In these brainstorming sessions, participants identify opportunities to improve the design, thereby aligning everyone’s vision and expectations of the project.
During such activities, teams will generate concepts as paper or whiteboard sketches. While these artifacts give a ten thousand-foot view of the emerging design, I would argue that they fall short of presenting the pieces as a whole, because they limit participants from visualizing interactivity and the system’s flow. This is where clickthrough prototypes enter the picture.