Prototyping Using Visio

Article in STC Usability SIG Newsletter, Usability Interface Vol 7, No. 1, July 2000, about using Visio for prototyping. Traditional paper prototyping is a useful method for testing designs, but it is rather limited. Rapid navigation between screens and pop-ups, for example, is not practical with paper prototyping. In addition, some elements, such as hotspots, are better viewed through an on-line prototype. As we were developing user interfaces for our company's browser-based healthcare information applications, we decided that paper prototyping was both awkward and inadequate for the frequent navigation necessary in the UI. Our users needed to access multiple screens from many areas, and paper mockups would not easily support such rapid movement or test it efficiently. Instead, we needed an on-line prototype without the overhead involved in coding one. Eventually, we found a way to convert our Visio drawings into an on-line prototype and soon had a quick, easy, and effective way for creating more dynamic prototypes from original Visio drawings.