Category Archives: User Experience

iOS prototypes with TAP and Fireworks

If you are in the user experience business and have noticed that your brain has started to melt I have an explanation.

There are so many new user experience tools appearing on the market that if you try and learn them all your brain will at best melt and at worst explode. This would not be a good experience. Especially for you, the user of said brain.

Anyway Smashing Magazine has a rather handy review of  something called Touch Application Prototype (TAP) from a crew in the Netherlands called UNITiD.

Smashing Magazine can do the honours, I’m too busy

I will leave it to Smashing Magazine to do the honours of an extensive review of this approach as I am too busy doing stuff. And I spent years reviewing software and all the time I wanted to use the stuff to do things with, not write about them.

It’s a bunch of UX wireframes, innit?

But essentially TAP is an extension for Adobe Fireworks which allows you to create a prototype of an iPhone or iPad application, bolt on the appropriate gestures using the jQTouch jQuery plugin which then sits on a web server and runs in a browser on the appropriate device so it looks like the real thing. Sort of. ‘Cos it’s a bunch of wireframes, innit?

(If you are a real smart arse you can tell your clients that it is sitting in ‘the Cloud’. Also known as a bunch of servers in Dorking.)

Whatever you decide to call it this is a very smart idea, no?

Of course now I am itching to have a go at TAP but should be doing other things.

Prototypes are dangerous things

I have to admit to being very cautious when it comes to UX prototypes. In my experience teams tend to do them far too early in the design process so they can play with them. The boys toys factor.

If people have a nice shiny prototyping toy to play with there is the danger that the low tech pencil and paper approach will be rushed or even overlooked.

And unless you are really doing your prototyping properly (design, test, amend, loop) it is very easy to consider your shiny prototype the finished product too early simply because it is whizzy and wonderful.