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Product Details

  • Paperback: 197 pages
  • Publisher: Rosenfeld Media; 1st edition (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933820217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933820217
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Prototyping: A Practitioner's Guide is a terrific and comprehensive review of both the prototyping process and the tools involved. I found that the book both validated my experience in prototyping and provided new techniques to try out, with many "Aha!" moments in both respects. --Jeff Rankin

About the Author

Todd Zaki Warfel is a founding partner at Messagefirst, where he focuses on design-research for consumer and b2b products. A recognized leader in the design-research and usability fields, Todd speaks regularly at universities and industry conferences and contributes to industry publications. With over 16 years of industry experience, degrees in English, Creative Writing, and Cognitive Psychology, and a background in Product Design, Todd has been fortunate enough to create over 15 industry first products. Todd is a storyteller by nature and is rarely short on details. He is an active member in a number of industry communities and organizations, including the Information Architecture Institute, IxDA, and UPA. He has done work with a variety of clients including: Albertsons, AT&T Wireless, Bankrate, Bank of America, Comcast, Cornell University, Dell, IntraLinks, Palm, Sallie Mae, Splenda, SBC, SUNY, and Tufts University.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
It is easy and fast to read.
Eugenio Grigolon
I especially like the guidelines for the prototyping process and the eight guiding principles.
David Scharn
Again, these are small issues in an otherwise terrific book!
William J. Rankin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By William J. Rankin on December 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Prototyping: A Practitioner's Guide" is a terrific and comprehensive review of both the prototyping process and the tools involved. There's really very little with which to find fault. I found that the book both validated my experience in prototyping and provided new techniques to try out, with many "Aha!" moments in both respects. The inclusion of case studies illustrating the techniques provide additional perspective and make the techniques more "real". The review of each prototyping technique/tool, whether paper or software-based, includes links to additional resources like toolkits, sample images, and the like - these would be especially useful to someone just getting started with a particular tool. Speaking as a designer who's typically relied on HTML prototypes and Visio, I must say my interest in Adobe Fireworks and, to a lesser extent, Axure is piqued. I think any UI/UX/IX designer, of any level of experience, would get something out of this book. Not that it would be useful only to them - analysts and software engineers will benefit from it as well.

A few very small issues:

* Early in the book, Mr. Warfel defines wireframes. I personally don't see why a wireframe can't depict flow - to me a wireframe is just a basic representation of the UI used to depict basic layout, flow, and interaction patterns. So, I think we simply differ slightly on the definition. I do like the term "narrative prototype" better and may start using that in place of "wireframe" - it is more descriptive.

* One issue with using common backgrounds in Visio prototypes is that you can't do a "select all" and then copy + paste the result into documentation, as all the background elements won't be copied. You can do a screen cap - but that takes a bit longer.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By G. Barber on April 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm an advocate of prototyping. I'll even go so far as to recommend that wireframing be reduce to just sketching in favour of prototyping. Still prototyping in a UX environment can sometimes be one of those things that you don't always get to practice when you would like to.

This is where Rosenfeld's book Prototyping - A Practitioner's Guide by Todd Zaki Warfel can fill in some of those nagging holes.

Now I enjoyed this book. I'm firmly in the audience demographic that this book is pitched at, which is good. Todd presents a concise overview of the art and science of prototyping, the upside and the downside are equally balanced within the book. That is what makes it so refreshing to read. However...

The first 7 chapters deal with a recommend guide to implementation of prototyping, including paper prototyping. This is well presented concise and worthwhile. As is the last 2 chapters on HTML prototyping and an overview on prototype testing. All these chapters are just what you need for the basics of prototyping, while still offering some extra detail for the experienced UX professional.

However there are a number of points within the book that I found just didn't gel well with me. Now I have nothing against Todd, I'm sure we have a lot of passionate view points in common. It's just part of this book feels wrong to me.

You see in the middle of the book are a series of chapters that discuss how to prototype with various desktop applications.

I really would love to know why there is an extra four chapters stuffed into this book reviewing the very basics of using PowerPoint, Visio, Fireworks and Axure Pro as prototyping tools.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Olmon on March 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
In this review, I'm going to talk first about the book itself and then give some comments that apply (so far) to all books published by Rosenfeld.

It's difficult to rate this because the rating varies between the audience. Beginning Prototypers: 5 stars. Experienced Prototypers: 3-ish stars. Personally, I like the book, find it useful, and certain parts of this book will be useful for future reference.

Prototyping: A Practitioner's Guide can be thought of in two main parts. First, Chapters 1-4 (inclusive) discuss some background on prototyping, general considerations, basically things to think about and know about prototyping in general. Chapters 5-11 discuss specific tools used to develop prototypes, and a very basic how to use those tools to develop prototypes. Finally, Chapter 12 discusses testing the prototype.

People new to prototyping will probably find the most value in this book. People who are seasoned practitioners in prototyping will probably find the first half useful (theory and practices), but not so much the second half (tools).

Each chapter on tools gives a quick "score card" (quick view of strength and weaknesses at a glance), discusses some strengths of the tool as well as some weaknesses. Additionally, a quick and simple step-by-step how to make a <something> prototype for each tool is given.

One tool I find to be conspicuously absent is Adobe Flash. The author states that he chose not to discuss Flash because there are already a multitude of books dedicated to Flash. While I agree Flash is extremely well documented and there are many books on the topic, I think that Flash's popularity as a prototyping tool warrants at least a short chapter and discussion on using Flash specifically to prototype designs.
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