Exploring techniques: paper prototypes and wire frames
The purpose of using paper prototype and wire frame trials is to test the designs of the multimedia product before the expensive process of building the product begins.
Paper prototypes involve providing testers with a section of a multimedia product presented on paper. Each piece of paper or cardboard represents one screen or page. Wire framing is a technique that utilises an authoring software application such as Dreamweaver, Powerpoint or Indesign to present the labels and information architecture.
In both cases, all of the actual text content (abstracts, headings, sub-headings and text) should be presented. The graphic design (colours, graphic elements) is not shown in these representations because it is the content, labelling and navigation that are under review.
The advantage of using wire framing over paper prototypes is that computer software easily demonstrates the navigation signposting and hyper-linking. It is more difficult to demonstrate the links between screen and pages using hand-drawn representations.
Use a paper prototype technique to represent a small (around 10 pages) website of your choice. Send it to your buddy and write a report on their comments.