Part 2. Unboxing UX – Two Simple Prototyping Tools

Designers and Engineers need to work together seamlessly to build intuitive and beautiful User Experiences. Unfortunately, in real practice, “throwing it over the wall” is still common. Maybe because that’s how it’s been done for some time, maybe because it seems easier, but ultimately we can all benefit from learning to collaborate better.

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One way that Designers and Engineers can work together is by building prototypes. When Engineers (and the rest of the team members) are able to use basic prototyping tools, it becomes easier to explore ideas, iterate, and hold collaborative events like Design Sprints. It opens up the discussion about what the product will be and how a user will interact with it.

There are two tools which I think are great for this purpose: Keynotopia and POP App. They’re the most accessible prototyping tools that I’m aware of. Not only can any Engineer pick these up, but they can also be shared with managers and other stakeholders on the project. POP App is free and Keynotopia is very inexpensive, and they work across most operating systems.


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What is it?

POP App is a mobile app for Paper Prototyping. To use it, you draw wireframes on paper, take photos, and then link the photos together to make a clickable prototype in-app. It runs on iPhone and Android and is completely free.

Here’s what it looks like to use.

When should I use it?

POP App is ideal to use very early in the product development process. You can use it on your own to test ideas, or in very fast team brainstorming and prototyping exercises. The outcome is obviously very low-fidelity, so it should be used to gather early stage feedback and not used for detailed and usability feedback.


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What is it?

Keynotopia is a set of downloadable templates for Keynote and Powerpoint. There are different packs – for Android, iPhone, tablets etc. All of the elements are drawn in Keynote and Powerpoint, so they’re fully editable and can be animated. There are different packs available for different prices. The outcome is much more high fidelity so it can be used to gather later stage feedback as well as early stage.

A short video on Keynotopia use.

This article is based on a talk that I’ve been sharing at some of the GDG events here in Europe. You can watch that video here.


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