:: urbansheep (urbansheep) wrote,
:: urbansheep

[ Q L ] Using HTML for Early UI Prototyping


This web page demostrates a technique to quickly explore user interface alternatives using standard HTML authoring tools rather than GUI building tools.

The goal of early user interface prototyping is to quickly construct and evaluate key aspects of a new user interface. Early prototypes can be used to help design the content, screen-flow, and presentation of a user interface. Doing early prototyping is a cost-effective way to check the feasibility of a proposed user interface.

Traditionally early prototypes have been done using pencil-and-paper, GUI builders, or animation programs such as Director. Using HTML in early protoyping has several advantages over the traditional tools:

  • HTML is a very flexible medium.
  • Making early HTML prototypes can be very fast.
  • HTML tools are widely available and provide many useful features.
  • The HTML prototypes focus on sequenceing of screens which is hard to do with standard GUI builders.
  • HTML prototypes can evolve directly from requirements documents.
  • Building HTML prototypes does not require artistic or sketching ability.
  • Early HTML prototypes defer commitment on presentation details (e.g., fonts, and widget sizes).
  • HTML allows for incremental commitment to different UI design issues (e.g., rough content, screen flow, screen presentation, error handling, timing issues).
  • HTML prototypes can be placed on the web for convenient evaluation and reference by designers and implementers that may be local or remote.
  • HTML prototypes can be "run" in any web browser by simply following links.


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