Charles & Ray Eames, Prototyping

Paper Prototyping Recap

We spoke a bit in class about the values and applications of paper-prototyping. I thought I’d recap some of the advantages of paper prototyping’s low-tech modality

  • It’s inclusive, both in terms of who can participate in creating the prototype, and who can “read” it
  • It puts the user ahead of the technology
  • It’s its own record-keeping/documentation device
  • There’s little risk in making changes / iterations
  • Translating from interactive to analog is itself an interesting design challenge
  • The “friction” of analog navigation helps you examine interaction design in a new light

Here are some additional resources:

Matt Davies, “Paper Prototyping as a Core Tool in the Design of Mobile Phone User ExperiencesInteraction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (2007).

SVA class's paper prototypes

SVA class’s paper prototypes

Paper prototypes from Robert Fabricant, Josh Musick, Clay Weidemann & Jeff Hoef’s 2011 “Prototyping User Experiences” class @ SVA, in which students designed a new interactive map for the MTA


Images from Todd Zaki’s Paper Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide (2009).


POP: an app for paper prototyping

Some of your prototypes:






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