Much as we hate to admit it, most prototyping practice lacks a sophisticated understanding of the broad concepts of prototypingand its strategic position within the development process. Often we overwhelm with a high fidelity prototype that designs us into a corner. Or, we can underwhelm with a prototype with too much ambiguity and flexibility to be of much use in the software development process.
This book will help software makersdevelopers, designers, and architectsbuild effective prototypes every time: prototypes that convey enough information about the product at the appropriate time and thus set expectations appropriately.
This practical, informative book will help anyonewhether or not one has artistic talent, access to special tools, or programming abilityto use good prototyping style, methods, and tools to build prototypes and manage for effective prototyping.
Review By: Noel LeJeune 12/03/2007The authors claim that "this book is for software makers, the individuals who conceptualize, create and produce software," and they list twenty-four disciplines included under software makers. By the time you read and study this book, you'll likely consider yourself a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) expert and prototyping guru. While the book is a difficult read because of the detail and some tiresome repetition, it offers excellent information for anyone wanting to effectively use prototyping for better software development. Much of the content is presented in fairly complex diagrams and graphics. It should also be noted that this book considers prototyping as an activity for visualizing interface requirements--other types of prototypes such as algorithmic or technical feasibility are not considered.
So why read this book? You should read this book if you do not know that effective prototyping requires the judicious use of its own processes and tools, much like the processes and tools used in software development, or if you do not know all nine prototyping methods discussed within and when and how to use each.
Every chapter includes copious references, detailed diagrams and illustrations, and excellent graphics to indicate where you are in the process. However, I did find the need to frequently go back to the "big-picture" because the amount of detail sometimes lost me, even with the abundant navigational diagrams. These diagrams frequently provided so much detail that deliberate study was needed.
I was disappointed with the end-of-chapter fictional scenarios for illustrating the application of the chapter's concepts. The scenarios lacked the depth and richness that would have provided more interesting and enjoyable reading. However, the overall writing style is excellent. The information is relevant and will not likely age much, even with technological advances. With some study, the knowledge and skills offered will make you a more effective prototyping software maker. Do not buy this book if you are expecting a quick-fix for learning effective prototyping. Do buy this book if you want solid coverage and are willing to invest your time to learn how to effectively prototype. The results should be worth the effort.