In the high tech world of digital design, sometimes the best method is still pen and paper. In this article we’ll talk about when to use them, why they can help, and how to make one to suit your own needs.
Paper prototyping is sketching screenshots on paper as substitutes for digital representations. The most basic paper prototypes are sketches of each screen. In a demonstration or usability test, the sketches are switched according to user actions. Due to the popularity of prototyping on paper, several advanced tools are available to facilitate the process. You can use stencils to quickly and accurately recreate buttons and icons.
Rapid iteration — Prototyping on paper lets you create and throw away multiple versions without wasting time.
Inexpensive — Paper is cheap, and even tools and kits won’t break the bank.
Increased creativity — The freedom of pencil and paper facilitates experimentation and new ideas more than software, which is limited by their features and the designer’s familiarity.
Team-building — Don’t underestimate the effects of fun arts and crafts in a business environment. Drawing, cutting, and pasting together can build team unity and raise spirits.
Less learning curve — Everyone can sketch ideas, which makes paper prototyping a great way to get other departments like marketing, development, or even stakeholders involved.
Automatic documentation — Paper prototypes are, themselves, a tangible document. Notes can be written directly on them for future iterations, and they can be left in full view as a reminder of what they taught.
When to Paper Prototype
Paper prototyping is perfect for early stage conceptualizing. Its speed, ease and simplicity, automatic documentation, make it far better suited for experimenting with new ideas than more complex digital prototypes.