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++”Paper In Screen” Prototyping: An Agile Technique To Anticipate The Mobile Experience [Bolchini, D. et al]

February 3, 2010

Taken from: “Paper In Screen” Prototyping: An Agile Technique To Anticipate The Mobile Experience.
BOLCHINI, D., PULIDO, D., and FAIOLA, A. (2009) “Paper In Screen” Prototyping: An Agile Technique To Anticipate The Mobile Experience. Interactions 16, 4 (July 2009), pp29-33.

For interaction designers to overcome a range of prototyping challenges, they first must recognize that each new and greater level of functionality in prototype development means more implementation time. This article introduces a hybrid method of prototyping that utilizes paper and mobile device technology that is both quick to create and agile to use in the early stages of design without the need to implement a fully operational high fidelity prototype.” (p29)

In discussing the relationship of user experience and design, Don Norman states that the “visceral” (or physical) level is the simplest and most primitive cognitive process [A]. With regard to handheld devices, visceral is all about look, feel, and sound, i.e., how a device, including the interface, looks and feels in the hand of the user. The iPhone is one of the greatest examples of the visceral experience. It was designed, in great part, for the visceral level of cognition—Apple designed for visual and physical impact. (…) Beyond the visceral experience, the “behavioral” level of cognition is about designing device interaction or behavior to reflect human behavior [A]. In other words, device design becomes intuitive in the way it complements one’s implicit assumptions about how it might work. Last, to design for the “reflective” level of cognition is to appeal to one’s aesthetic sensibilities, uniqueness, and cultural preferences [A]. From such a design perspective, people relate to and acquire a personal adherence to a device as part of their identity and self-expression.” (p31)
(A) Norman, D. Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books, 2003.

Understanding these three levels of cognition is extremely relevant, because emotional engagement at every level strongly influences human-interface interaction from a physical, aesthetic, and usability perspective.Moreover, if we need to take into account these emotion-centric factors early on in the life-cycle of device design, it is clear that paper prototyping cannot deliver the necessary insight into a full visceral and behavioral experience of the interface in the context of handling the physical device. In other words, if we only use paper separate from its actual relationship to the physical device, we may bypass important elements of the user’s emotional experience. As a consequence, inadequacies of this kind may lead to highly artificial (and ultimately irrelevant) evaluation results.” (p31)

The digital paper prototype is still provisional, malleable, thought provoking, and expressive, but at the same it enables the user to experience it within the real mobile device, with all its affordances for an interaction experience that is both tactile and visceral. And all this can be done at a very limited cost.” (p32)

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