After creating static prototypes for our first round of usability testing, we moved on to converting those prototypes into interactive prototypes. Our instructor recommended we use JustinMind Prototyper Pro. Since we’d been using the free version for our static prototypes for our first round of usability testing, it seemed like a good plan.

The whole UX coder debate seems like the kind of Mac/PC, iOS/Android, Yankees/Red Sox, Po-tay-to/Po-tah-to religious debate that I try to avoid. Religiously. But, after spending a few hours trying to learn how to do drag-and-drop interactivity, I thought I’d put my thoughts on the process out there.

  • I’ve found the process very limiting so far. Instead of making the prototype interactive, you’re sort of, kind of trying to make it seem like it’s interactive in the way you envision that the actual product would be interactive. But even a nice tool like JustinMind just doesn’t cover everything you can do.
  • I also found myself considering the amount of time it takes to learn the prototyping tool might be better spent programming (or learning to program). You can do a lot of stuff with the tool, but it’s time consuming and there’s a steep learning curve. Kind of like programming….
  • I found myself hitting up the jQuery UI page to see if it would be easier to do that way.
  • I also wonder if the thought process required to emulate interactions will steer your away from designing the types of interactions that are actually possible.
  • Not that I’m a programming zealot. After our first couple of usability tests using static prototypes with only a few hyperlinks, I thought the testing would have worked much better with paper prototypes had that been an option.
  • I’ve been programming since we did a unit on BASIC in my fourth grade gifted class, so this stuff is old hat to me. My partner, on the other hand, doesn’t have a programming background, and he seems to dig the possibilities. So that’s worth considering. We certainly wouldn’t be able to continue to collaborate if I picked up our prototype and went off into jQuery land.
  • And since I didn’t actually pick up our prototype and go off into jQuery land, I really have no idea if it would actually be faster and more productive.

Still, I’m glad that it’s tool that I have in my belt.