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Designing Gestural Interfaces by Dan Saffer

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Chapter 6. Prototyping Interactive Gestures

"Make objects that talk—and then listen to them."

David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

Paper documentation, animations, and movies are simply tools of communication on the road to launching a gestural system. The next essential step in that journey is prototyping, creating a version of the final product that can be tested and refined. Of course, as noted in Chapter 5, documenting can also follow prototyping; it just depends on your design process.

Prototypes come in many shapes and sizes, from crude paper mockups to prerelease versions of the actual product. The type of prototype you should design depends on the type of feedback you want from clients, team members, and any potential users.

Note

The more refined the prototype is, the more refined the response to it will likely be.

Oddly, refined feedback can be a bad thing. A high-fidelity, working prototype could engender lots of comments about the colors used or typefaces involved, not about the concept, features, gestures, and system flow, which may be what you really care about (and should care about in the early stages of prototyping).

Thus, you'll want to engage different types of prototypes to elicit the type of feedback you want.Initially, start with a low-fidelity prototype. It's much cheaper and less time-consuming to try out a concept on paper than in code or electronics!

One desired trait of prototypes, especially low-fidelity ...

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