UX Prototyping

Mick McQuaid



But first … Design systems

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  • People use different terms
  • People use the term design system in different ways, all the wayfrom style guide to component libraries to basis for entire company (e.g., AirBnB)
  • GitHub posits rules, constraints, and principles
    • example: color
    • rule: pass color contrast ratio of 4:5:1
    • constraint: number of colors in palette
    • principle: color used in a meaningful way

Takeaways, continued

  • GitHub started with color, typography, spacing, components, layouts
  • GitHub added interaction models, voice and tone, words, grammar and mechanics
  • GitHub uses https://primer.style/
  • GitHub uses BEM-style notation https://en.bem.info/
  • Material Design is aspirational for GitHub

Other examples

AirBnB hired Pixar to create their storyboards to reflect AirBnB’s values as part of their value-based design system

AirBnB storyboard

But first … Animation

Animation Storyboards

Animation Storyboards

Animation Storyboard User Input Symbols

Animation Storyboard Action Symbols

Animation Storyboard Quality Symbols

Animation Storyboard Example

Animation Motion Comps

  • aka Animatics
  • Video of how animation works
  • Very high fidelity

Problem: Animate this!

Animation: Interactive Prototypes

  • Allows the user to experience the trigger and the effect
  • Gives the feel of the timing, not just the look
  • Establishes context (e.g., bouncy, playful bank app)
  • Intuit example https://designsystem.quickbooks.com (go to Foundations > Motion)


All you need is here


Day one of this course

  • We used a storyboard sheet to ideate
  • But we could consider the interview and brainstorming the list of needs as part of the ideate process—they certainly lead up to it
  • In fact, we can do anything that will help us come up with ideas!
  • IDEO suggests a three step process: inspiration, ideation, implementation
  • Under Ideate, they suggest many activities, including journey mapping, HMW, and rapid prototyping; we’ll examine HMW

HMW (how might we?)

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IDEO steps

The How Might We step

  • Rephrase insight statements from previous step as questions by adding “How might we” at the beginning
  • Look for design opportunities from these questions
  • Make each question broad enough to allow a number of solutions, but narrow enough to be actionable

Diverging and Converging

The best way to have an idea is to have lots of ideas.

— Linus Pauling

Why diverge then converge

  • You will not come up with a creative solution if you don’t diverge
  • You will not meet the deadline if you don’t converge
  • You must set a time limit for both processes

How to diverge and converge

  1. Ideate!
  2. Implement ideas!

A view from Becker (2020)

A way to converge from Becker (2020)

Prototyping Levels

lofi from Buxton (2007)

My drawings have been described as pre-intentionalist, meaning that they were finished before the ideas for them had occurred to me. I shall not argue the point.

— James Thurber

Sketching capabilities from Buxton (2007)

lofi and hifi from Buxton (2007)

Buxton Collection

Sometimes less is more: Femme

System diagramming

Becker (2020) view

Issues with system diagramming

  • By the way, it’s usually called flowcharting
  • Goes in and out of fashion
  • Main issue is that there is no standard symbol set
  • Therefore any flowchart can mean anything
  • Many developers are schooled in UML, may resist anything else
  • UML has roughly nine very specific diagram types, standardized worldwide

Story about learning

  • The time, the place, the people, and the skills
  • aka The time, the place, and the people
  • concerns Daud Sahil (sahil means guide or leader in Hindi)


Becker, Christopher Reid. 2020. Learn Human-Computer Interaction: Solve Human Problems and Focus on Rapid Prototyping and Validating Solutions Through User Testing. Packt Publishing.
Buxton, Bill. 2007. Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufman.
Goldschmidt, G. 1991. “The Dialectics of Sketching.” Creativity Research Journal 4 (2): 123–43.



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