When selecting a tool, I thought about what would best support the following requirements. That the tool would:
• Allow for fixed path interactivity — where users can fully participate and experience what the interaction might be like based on a pre-defined situation. So in this case, the pre-defined situation, I’m working with is the user scenario created in our first assignment.
• Best illustrate a horizontal prototype strategy — when you develop an entire layer of the design to get an overview of the design and address any issues such as consistency, coverage and redundancy. Also, User Interface horizontal prototypes can begin as rapid prototypes and can progress to working code. Which leads to my next requirement ...
• To be iterative and evolve to work out the finer details while increasing in precision.
Therefore, to create my digital prototype, I will be using a tool called Adobe Muse.
The thing I like about Adobe Muse is that you don’t need to know anything about code, and can just concentrate on the design.
I have experience using Adobe InDesign, and I like that Muse recycles a lot of the same interface components and concepts so that page design is as easy as laying out print documents and you can create reusable elements and layouts with Master pages.
Start out in Plan View. You can plan and build out the sitemap of your prototype before even getting into designing any interface elements. I find this useful when creating scenario based prototypes because you can re-create your user task flow to make sure you don’t miss any steps.
Then you can go back and start building out your Master page with repeatable elements that would be on every page such as a logo, navigation, header and footer.
Muse allows you to create graphic styles to create a consistent look and feel that can be applied to a set of elements. So depending on the stage of the design process you’re prototyping for — the styles can start off as basic as low fidelity, wireframe shapes and can be swapped out to high fidelity, polished designs as you iterate.
Adding Interactive elements like menus, anchor tags, button rollovers, photo galleries and forms can be easily integrated with drop and drag widgets that again can be configured to match the fonts, colours, design of the site or left without styling depending on the stage of design.
Muse has responsive design features so you can easily set breakpoints, pin objects and resize elements for smartphone and tablet versions of the prototype design. This is handy so when you’re still in medium fidelity stages of functionality, you can see how elements will extend and behave on different screen sizes before you finalize anything.
Because Adobe Muse generates code as you work, wireframes in Muse instantly become interactive prototypes and can easily evolve into a finished design.