Full day training course offered at Usability Week New York City

Wireframing and Prototyping

Quick and cost-effective technique for identifying major usability issues early with sketches and paper. Perfect fit for Agile and Lean processes

Course Date: March 22, 2013

Wireframing and paper prototyping (also known as low-fidelity prototyping) is a low-cost, rapid iterative design technique that offers one of the best methods for gaining design insight early. Catching major usability problems early means you won’t waste precious time, effort and money developing designs that may fail. (In contrast, user studies done late in the development process usually have their findings deferred until "the next release.")

In this course, you’ll discover how to use lean UX prototyping medthods to increase collaboration among multi-disciplinary teams, and how it can save your company substantial time and money.

"This is how I wish I'd always developed apps."

Alex White, Creative Team Lead
Dynetics Inc.

Topics Covered

Topics Covered

  • Hands-on course about using paper prototyping to improve design and shorten development time
    • Receive coaching and feedback from the instructor
    • Dynamic course that gets you working so you feel confident to run your own research
  • Paper prototyping method to catch issues and iterate
    • Manage risk by catching design flaws early and changing direction
    • Evaluate divergent designs early to reduce communication and design blocks
    • Effectively create fast prototypes for iterative testing and feedback
  • Reduce technology barriers for more creative thinking and discussion
    • Promoting inclusivity among team members, reduce arguments
    • Engaging a diverse group through rapid creation of interactive designs
    • Increase buy-in from stakeholders, business owners, and developers
  • Creating wireframes and paper prototypes
    • Tools and materials for creating prototypes
    • What prototypes look like and the level of detail (fidelity)
    • Design elements to include and leave out
    • Tips and tricks for creating paper prototypes
  • Conducting user research with paper and sketches
    • Tips for running your own usability study
    • Facilitation techniques to get valuable feedback for better interaction designs
    • Roles required for a usability study with paper
  • Testing prototypes vs. live products
    • User feedback and behavior
    • Types of questions to ask
    • Scenarios to evaluate
    • Fidelity and interactivity level and different stages to answer different questions
  • Planning usability studies with paper prototypes
    • Setting goals to balance business and user needs
    • Iterative testing schedules
  • Overcoming objections and common concerns
    • Validity of data and user reactions
    • Development resources and time
  • Elements to evaluate using paper designs
    • Navigation and workflow
    • Concepts and categories
    • Content and labels
    • Functionality, missing features



You will practice creating prototypes and conducting your own usability study during this workshop. Short lecture segments introduce topics and techniques for applying paper prototyping to your design projects.

The course also includes:

  • Hands-on exercises and immediate feedback from the instructor
  • Materials for creating and testing prototypes
  • Video demonstration of testing with paper
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers



Kara Pernice

Kara Pernice is the Managing Director at Nielsen Norman Group. Pernice uniquely combines her 20-plus years of research knowledge with her design experience and business education to help organizations derive interfaces which are usable, useful, and surpass business goals. Pernice is accomplished at evaluating any design situation to determine or craft the most fitting research method, conduct or lead the research, observe and analyze user behavior, and convert this analysis into outstanding design. Pernice has led hundreds of intercontinental research studies, and is expert in many usability methods. Read more about Kara