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Response to [Prototyping for tiny fingers] by Rettig

One Sentence

This article (re) introduced low-fidelity (lo-fi) prototyping technique and procedure to test user interface design at an early stage, and to enable iterative improvements before committing to code.

More Sentences

Key Points

  • This technique – building prototypes on paper and testing them with real users – is called low-fidelity prototyping or “lo-fi” for short;
  • Lo-fi prototyping helps you apply Fudd’s first law of creativity: “To get a good idea, get lots of ideas.”
  • “Software developers’ dilemma.” You can’t evaluate an interaction design until after it is built, but after building, changes to the design are difficult;
  • The value of two important laws of interaction design was memorably demostrated: “Know Your User,” and “You Aren’t Your User.”
  • Testing for iterative refinement is known in the interface design community as “formative evaluation,” meaning you are evaluating your design while it is still in its formative stages.
  • Lo-fi prototyping works because it effectively educates developers to have a concern for usability and formative evaluation, and because it maximizes the number of times you get to refine your design before you must commit to code.
  • Four roles for conducing a user test:
    • Greeter.
    • Facilitator -…the only team member who is allowed to speak freely during the test. Facilitating means three things: giving the user instructions, encouraging the user to express his or her thoughts during the test, and making sure everything gets done on time.
    • Computer.
    • Observer.


Overall, it is very well written – almost the perfect template for writing non- or near- research articles. It also demonstrate a very intriguing way of presenting new ideas or opinions. Start with plain examples or stories that gradually reveal the underlying topics. Then introduce the new ideas or opinions by reflecting them back in the examples or stories, and gradually towards a clear and succinct definition. Analyze what is wrong with the conventional ideas or opinions (preferably in a systematical, rather than ad-hoc, manner). Unfold the new ideas or opinions, from concentrated, higher-level principles, to finer-grained details. Finally, summarize this article, focusing on what has not been covered or emphasized, but no less important.


About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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