Friday, September 02, 2011

Prototyping Is Not About Picking A Tool

Prototyping is about making something tangible that triggers the imagination of those who see it.

My colleagues and I  use different tools to create prototypes. I use Axure to convey the concepts we come up with to customers. I have seen CEOs, Heads of Human Resources and IT leaders get excited and participate enthusiastically when I show them a prototype to convey my ideas. Recently, I convinced the CEOs of two companies and the HR leadership of another company to pilot our product just by showing a prototype and painting the vision. It was fascinating to see senior executives connecting with the vision and building on it, just by looking at the prototype.

My user experience colleagues use ForeUI to create prototypes that convey the look and flow of our products to development colleagues. Some product design colleagues use PowerPoint to convey the look and flow of their features.

All the above tools work well, when the person making the prototype is clear about what they want to convey. It is not about the tool you use. It is the process of making to think and showing something to trigger imagination rather than just talking about it.

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