LearnPaper Prototyping


writes on May 31, 2011

In the video below you’ll see a video of someone stepping through a ‘Paper Prototype’. The idea is simple: Draw each state of a set of screens on physical paper (each state on a seperate piec) then step through the screens.

In reality, this is way too clumsy and time consuming to be practical, but it’s still a lot of fun.


Learning with Treehouse for only 30 minutes a day can teach you the skills needed to land the job that you've been dreaming about.

Get Started

9 Responses to “Paper Prototyping”

  1. We had the same observation about classic aproach to paper prototyping. A little bit too clumsy and way too time consuming. We gathered all the pros and cons of this method and draw conclusion. You can see it in action on this video: http://vimeo.com/17261765 and more details are here: http://www.uxpin.com

  2. Trying to imagine how many years they spent drawing that. Still, pen and paper are invaluable in the first stages of wireframing, as mentioned in the other comments.

    The AJAX thing with the folded paper was unexpected ūüėÄ

  3. The girls were laughing. Seems that they just had fun to go to the length of details. Probably some student work.

  4. Anonymous on June 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm said:

    I was about to say how impractical this is and how time consuming but I noticed (after watching the video) you already mentioned this.

    A good method would allow for changes to go across the board regardless of where you make the change. Sketching doesn’t allow this. Sketching is for brainstorming and harvesting information and taking chances.

  5. A long time ago I saw an artistic video about a more humanistic way to make sotfware interfaces. But it’s a lot of work to do that everyday XD ¬†http://www.vimeo.com/4697849

    Simple is better, no doubt! Sometimes humans complicate things that don’t need to be complicated.

  6. Nice video. I agree that going into this much detail seems a bit silly, but it is a fun way of doing it. Definitely doing sketches of each screen is needed, but a great concept and idea. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Are you suggesting paper prototyping is too clumsy and time consuming to be practical or just their somewhat over the top detailed implementation of it?

    If it is the former, I (and many others would) beg to differ. Paper prototyping can be an incredibly useful tool.

    Having said that I wouldn’t necessarily advocate such a detailed approach as the one show in the video.


    • Going to the length of detail they did in this video is impractical.

    • I think the video is a bit too detailed for what they are using it for, because it seems like they are doing complex sequences and going across lots of the software, but you can’t really see much detail.

      I’ve used this process before for testing UI/UX, and getting people to walk through the process talking out what they are doing and it’s AMAZINGLY useful, it’s great to see what users try to do, and which bits confuse/stimulate them, and helps you work out how to structure things. If you can do it super fast and use it to firm up ideas on what works, it’s a great step before creating something people actually use.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

man working on his laptop

Are you ready to start learning?

Learning with Treehouse for only 30 minutes a day can teach you the skills needed to land the job that you've been dreaming about.

Start a Free Trial
woman working on her laptop