Posts Tagged ‘video’

iPad Template for Keynote Prototyping

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Amir Khella just described his experience of building an interactive prototyping for an iPad application using Apple’s Keynote. Along with a thorough post, he release a template available for download (requires blog subscription). The post also comes with a video screen cast showing the final result and interactions. Here is an interesting quote around what he has to say on prototyping:

Remember that a prototype doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to convey your idea better than your words do. Don’t over-engineer it, and don’t prematurely optimize it. Just put together something that users can see and play with. You will get many more insights than spending hours in focus groups, market research and surveys.

Credits: Amir Khella

ILoveSketch: 3D Sketching

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

ILoveSketch is a 3D curve sketching system done as an academic project by a few University of Toronto students. The software tool looks like it allows designers to draw out concepts using a tablet based system while automatically approximating the drawn curves in a 3D space. Designers can easily zoom, pan, and tumble through their work space as well as make use of a few gestural interactions for deleting and redrawing lines. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to actually find the download option to try it out. A design tool like this is perhaps geared more at industrial or product designers, and less so UI interaction designers. Nevertheless I still wanted to share it as I think it’s something really unique and perhaps a bit inspirational. Makes me wonder what a 3D UI wireframe would look like. :)

Credits: Seok-Hyung Bae, Ravin Balakrishnan, and Karan Singh


Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

K-Sketch, The Kinetic Sketch Pad is a pretty cool piece of software that came out of the Human-Computer Interaction and Design group from the University of Washington and is lead by Prof. Richard Davis. As the name indicates, the software allows to create quick sketches in time with a pretty simple and lightweight interface. Users can draw free form shapes and then transform those objects in a recording mode. The result is an animation composed of various objects that have their own animating paths.

I still haven’t tried out this tool on a real UI design project, but the concept is definitely inspirational and so I thought to share it. The K-Sketch project opens up the possibility and idea of sketching in the context of a timeline, which I think is quite novel in itself. If the desire of designers to express interactions seamlessly with the use of animation is strong enough (which I think it is), my guess is that we’ll be seeing more and more of functionality such as this in our prototyping tools of the future.

Download it and try it out yourself.

Here is another explanation straight off from their website:

K-Sketch allows ordinary computer users to create informal animations from sketches. Current tools for creating animation are extremely complex. This makes it difficult for designers to prototype animations and nearly impossible for novices to create them at all. Simple animation systems exist but severely restrict the types of motion that can be represented. To guide the design K-Sketch, we have conducted field studies into the needs of professional and novice animators. These studies showed the wide variety of motions that users desire in informal animations and indicate how to prioritize these types of motion. Our design allows the most important types of motion to be defined with pen gestures, and gives visual feedback for coordination of events.

Credits: Prof. Richard Davis

ForeUI 2.0

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Quick product update. Last month ForeUI 2.0 has been released and came out with a set of new features. The prototyping tool now supports the sharing of resources on a hosted web site from which users could download or publish custom elements. Other new features include the ability to change themes (Windows 7 style has been added), hierarchical page management, and full customization of all draggable elements being displayed on the left hand navigation.


Rigged Stop-Frame Paper Prototype Animations

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Superb. Very similar to the previous post on Protocasting, here is Chris’ approach to creating quick paper prototype animations which tell stories of rich interaction. This stop-frame animation approach requires a web cam, some video editing software (Quicktime in this case) as well as a desk attached rig to ensure things are visually stable. For showing changing text, Chris uses an erasable pen and overlaid acetate on top of the desk which he calls ‘the stage’. This powerful technique, which portrays interaction seamlessly, is a critical move forward if we are to battle change blindness brought on by shuffling disrupted and disjointed screens. In his own words:

The desk is the stage, and the action is framed inside a print-out of an empty browser to give it context. I wanted it to look so simple and sketchy that nobody could possibly confuse it with a design, so I used paper, card and Post-Its to build up the scene and laid a sheet of acetate on top, which I wrote on with OHP pen. There’s a rather crude cardboard mouse-cursor and a rotating paper ‘in progress’ icon.

There are 8 animations in total, each of which illustrates part of a user journey through the form and highlights complex validation behaviour I’d found tricky to explain. I was a bit worried that the developers might think it was gimmicky, but the novelty wore off quickly and they rapidly moved on to focus on the content. Because the videos illustrated a lot of the main ideas, everyone involved was spared long, tedious meetings talking about display conditions and validation behaviour. This was a big win.

The whole process is really quick and, most importantly, fun – developers and stakeholders engage fully even with dry subject matter. Non-techies can get involved too because the animation software only has about 3 buttons. Unlike with Flex or AJAX, there’s no learning curve.

Animation is famous for taking ages, but doing animations like mine is remarkably quick providing you’re tooled up and organised. It took me about half an hour to set the scene, based on some wireframes we’d already done. Then each animation took about 15 minutes.

Credits: Chris Neale


Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Here is an interesting description of a protocasting technique brought to you by Theresa Neil (which she credits to Todd Zaki Warfel’s book on Prototyping). Basically a bunch of screens are first exported into PDF, then turned into a clickable prototype, and eventually a happy path is recorded as video and annotated with audio. I think it’s great to see an approach to prototype walk throughs which alleviates the pressure on the viewers to discover the interaction by themselves (a problem present in many prototyping tools these days). Instead, the viewer is guided through time and the designer covers the intended flow as a presentation. If prototyping is partially about leading the viewer to believe that the fake product is a real one, then Theresa’s protocasting approach achieves this perfectly.

Credits: Theresa Neil