UX Prototyping:

Mick McQuaid




project ideas

idea rejected, then reconsidered

  • presented idea was to help women seeking abortions in Texas
  • rejected because it seemed like more of a privacy and security issue than a UX issue
  • reconsidered because I then researched it and found UX issues
  • e.g., websites to help undocumented migrants assume literacy and often English literacy
  • two synergistic groups: drivers and patients

pause for project ideas

mood boards

What is a mood board?

  • Collage
  • Images
  • Typography
  • Color palettes
  • Conveys a strong impression
  • Can be checked by asking people what they see

Why a mood board, according to 99designs

  • Inspiration
  • Affirmation
  • Guidance
  • Communication

Images (again 99designs)

Color palettes (again 99designs)

Visual metaphors (from 99designs)

And more

  • Words
  • Letters
  • Textures
  • Patterns
  • Shapes


Milanote Mood Board

Mood Board for a Law Firm

〈make your own mood board〉

design inspiration

  • Where did you get the inspiration for your mood board?
  • Where do you get inspiration in general?
  • Where do you want to get inspiration?

A whole new mind

  • Keep a sketchbook
  • Read design magazines
  • Be like Karim
  • Become a design detective
  • Visit a design museum

Keep a sketchbook

Read design magazines

Linkrot, anyone?

  • Ambidextrous (not found)
  • Dwell (www.dwell.com)
  • How (went bankrupt 2019)
  • i-D (bought but exists i-d.vice.com)
  • Metropolis (metropolismag.com)
  • O (oprah.com)
  • Print (www.printmag.com)
  • Real Simple (www.realsimple.com)

Be like Karim

Karim directives (excerpt)

  • Don’t specialize
  • Before giving birth to anything physical, ask yourself if you have created an original idea, an original concept, if there is any real value in what you disseminate.
  • Know everything about the history of your profession and then forget it all when you design something new.
  • Never say “I could have done that” because you didn’t.
  • Consume experiences, not things.
  • Normal is not good.
  • There are three types of beings—those who create culture, those who buy culture, and those who don’t give a shit about culture. Move between the first two.
  • Think extensively, not intensively.
  • Experience is the most important part of living, and the ex- change of ideas and human contact is all life really is. Space and objects can encourage increased experiences or distract from our experiences.
  • Here and now is all we got

More Karim

Become a design detective

  • Visit open houses
  • Make it a group project
  • Compare notes at the end regarding current design trends

Visit a design museum


  • Easy enough to say just do it
  • Nothing works like conscientious practice
  • Once inspired, what keeps you going?
  • Try Dodson (2006)
  • Try the five minute plan

Crazy eights

How to do it

  • Choose a site or app to work on
  • Make a list of screens needed
  • Fold a large sheet into 8 squares
  • Quickly draw a screen on each square
  • Use a sharpie or blunt pencil
  • No nuances!

Develop your own shorthand

For example

  • a boxed x means a photo
  • a circle means an icon
  • a straight line means a headline
  • a squiggly line means body copy

Pause for video

〈do your own crazy eights〉

milestone 2

Njideka Akunyili Crosby

photo of the artist seated


  1. Stare at a photograph of the painting Still You Bloom in this Land of No Gardens in the room for at least ten minutes
  2. Create an accessible prototype of a digital artifact to satisfy some need of one of the two people in the painting
  3. Submit the prototype by a week from Monday evening at 9PM

The exhibit at Blanton (closed in December)

Photo of Blanton museum room with Crosby exhibit

The painting itself

Photo of painting by Crosby, depicting a seated woman with a small child on her lap

A better (?) photo of the painting

Better photo of previous painting

How can you approach this task?

  1. First just look at the painting for ten minutes without learning anything about it.
  2. Optionally learn about the painting and its background, using the plaque beside it and web or curatorial resources
  3. Think about the environment of these two people, their needs, and values
  4. Design an accessible prototype that reflects what you know about them


Dodson, Bert. 2006. Keys to Drawing with Imagination. Cincinnati, OH: North Light.



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