How to become a mature UX Designer – User Experience Warsaw Meetup
Most of people trying to write something longer than an article (a book, a novel or even a report) have probably faced a problem similar to that of a designer whose task is to create a new design, namely, how and where to start when there are so many options to choose from.
Suppose you have done your research already (Personas, Customer Journeys, Benchmarking… you name it) and all the data are lying in front of you, but you still have this “writer’s block”. And this is the moment when Paper Prototyping comes in handy, because very few people can just start developing final designs without a few initial attempts, such as scribbling on a piece of paper.
This is where great ideas come from. As I was trying to demonstrate during my presentation, extremely simple drawings (like the one below, by main architect Wojciech Kotecki) underlie even such beautiful buildings as MCK in Katowice (which won six awards in 2015/2016). If you use our imagination, you can clearly see the path leading from the ground to the roof of this famous exhibition hall.
But when it comes to User Interface Design, you can apply the exact same approach to get started. It will help you concretize all ideas that are brimming in your head. We often tend to bite more than we can chew and start working on details before we conceive any kind of structure of our design. That can lead to a dead end, what is good if you haven’t spent most of your time on it, but may be a project killer when you have a tight schedule and have to start over.
A technic from Google Design Sprint methodology called Crazy 8’s is an example of a tool which can help us to start with a design.
Prototyping on paper gives you agility and speed which are so important when you need a quick win that will give you upper hand when working with other team members, especially when you want to present your first ideas. This is because paper encourages quick changes due to its light form prone to easy fixes.
Overall it really accelerates the designed product’s time to market allowing more efficient re-iteration of your ideas when discussing them with colleagues. Sometimes it is even possible to skip the high fidelity prototyping phase and start implementing project based just on paper prototypes.
Last but not least, remember that when it comes to paper, you have to teach yourself to throw away your designs, the ones that you are not satisfied with, and quickly start over to make something better!