Sessions at Interaction12 about Prototyping on Wednesday 1st February

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  • Mobile Prototyping Essentials

    by Rachel Hinman

    We’ve heard it all before… prototype, prototype, prototype! It’s a standard step in almost any design process — but often the first step skipped in time and budget constrained projects. Although prototyping is considered a luxury for many PC-based experiences, it is an absolutely essential part of creating compelling tablet and mobile experiences.

    This workshop will outline why prototyping is an essential part of the emerging world of tablet and mobile experience design. You’ll learn the underlying design principles and design conventions of Natural User Interfaces (NUIs), animated transitions and the interaction design language that is emerging as touchscreen devices become commonplace. You’ll also learn how and why to cultivate the two most important skills necessary for creating compelling tablet and mobile experiences: a curiosity for context and ruthless editing.

    Finally, you’ll learn a wide variety of hands-on prototyping methods that can be applied to your design process. You’ll receive tactical, hands-on instruction for how to storyboard concepts and screens, sketch transitions, and turn your ideas into high-fidelity on-device prototypes with speed and confidence.

    The workshop will cover:
    Natural user interfaces (Activity: Translating GUI to a NUI)
    Fostering new skills such as ruthless editing, a curiosity for context, learning the language of transition (Activity: identifying and sketching transitions)
    Tablet/mobile prototyping methods including storyboarding, low-fidelity prototyping and high-fidelity prototyping (Activity: identifying and sketching transitions)
    Participants will:

    Understand the design principles and conventions for Natural User Interfaces.
    Understand why a curiosity for context and ruthless editing are important to tablet and mobile UX design
    Learn how to cultivate these skills
    Be exposed to the language of interface transitions: what they are, when to use them and how to sketch them
    Experience three prototyping methods: when they should be used and the questions they should help answer

    This is a workshop aimed at designers, developers, and UX professionals keen to transition from desktop to mobile and tablet experiences.

    At 9:00am to 12:30pm, Wednesday 1st February

  • Prototyping Native Mobile Applications in Axure

    by Jeff Harrison and Fred Beecher

    While prototyping has become a common component of interaction design processes for building Web and desktop applications, it hasn’t yet caught on in the mobile realm. First, mobile apps are often regarded as bite-sized software, something that’s more important to launch than to get right the first time. Any major problems can just be fixed later, or so the theory goes. Second, there simply aren’t the tools out there to make it easy for designers to prototype the rich interactions characteristic of native mobile applications. Axure isn’t perfect for this either, but with the release of Version 6 it has become feasible to prototype these types of apps. Participants will be expected to have a working knowledge of how to prototype rich interactions in Axure. They will also be required to bring a laptop with Axure 6 and a mobile device that can access an external website (an iOS or Android device would be best).

    This workshop will focus specifically on prototyping native mobile applications because there is very little you need to alter about how you use Axure to prototype for the mobile Web (which we will touch on). Also, it’s the gestures and animations characteristic of native mobile applications that are the most difficult things to prototype, the most useful things to test, and the functionality that’s most commonly left out of other mobile prototyping tools.

    We will begin by demonstrating to participants how to run an Axure prototype on a mobile device, giving them the opportunity to try it out for themselves. We will also provide them with and introduce them to our lightweight mobile prototyping Axure framework, which will be used to complete the remaining exercises.

    The main course content begins with a discussion of how to prototype typical native mobile animations, such as tap feedback, slides & fades, and animated widgets such as modal views and toggles. We will encourage participants to follow along with us as we demonstrate these techniques, but we will also give them the opportunity to complete an exercise in which they have to prototype mobile native animated interactions.

    We will then discuss the many options for allowing users to trigger gestures on their prototypes. Because Axure outputs HTML, CSS and JavaScript, users will not be able to simply swipe or three-finger-drag an object. We will offer up three different strategies for triggering gestures and provide participants with the opportunity to build a gesture-triggering prototype themselves. Additionally, the mobile prototyping framework we will present them with will include the fully articulated version of one of these strategies.

    Finally, we will walk through a series of common native mobile interactions, teaching participants how to prototype each one using Axure. One facilitator will demonstrate, while the other will answer questions and provide feedback to workshop participants. The session will end with a Q&A session where participants can ask to learn how to prototype other specific interactions.

    At 9:00am to 12:30pm, Wednesday 1st February