Online Journalism: Spring 2011

the class blog

Your Paper Prototypes: Documentation & Reports

with 9 comments

You need to test your paper prototypes at least twice. Make refinements between the testing process (and during!). Document these testing sessions:

200 words on test one & 200 words on test two:
What did you set out to test (i.e. what is your thing?)
What did each test reveal?
What did you change after each test?

Photo documentation (upload to Flickr) or EVEN BETTER: video, uploaded to YouTube.

Include links to your documentation and the report itself in the comments of this post.

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Written by sinker

February 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Assignments

9 Responses

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  1. Here’s the link to my youtube channel (the only videos on my channel are the prototypes): http://www.youtube.com/user/ABFashion1990

    Here’s the direct links to the two prototype videos:

    What did you set out to test (i.e. what is your thing?)
    My idea for this prototype is a website that offers a community for Columbia students to better collaborate with their peers by requiring them to be apart it. It seems that students will participate in something if it is required and their grades depend on it. All students have a profile on this site and put up ads for things they need help with. For example, photography students will put up ads for models they need, journalism students will put up ads for source help, and film students will put up ads for actors they need. Students are required to post at least three ads and answer at least three. The more ads they put up and answer, the more points they receive. While this not only will help with their grades, it will help them to get out of their comfort zone and learn to collaborate better and later on, they will collaborate on their own terms. My prototype testing videos will show how the web site would work; showing the ads, profile, inbox, etc.

    Test one:
    I found myself not exactly sure how to test it properly or the correct order of my papers. I found myself thinking about which sheet was supposed to go next, if the sheets even made sense, if people could even follow along and understand what the site was all about. But, it allowed me to fix what I needed to. I actually tested more than twice, just didn’t take videos of it, but I tested it a few times, playing it out in my head also trying to picture what a web site’s function really looks like. I felt a little lost considering I had never created a prototype before, so hopefully I did it correct. I used examples in class to assist in my creation but creating an internet site/database is very technical, even if it is just on paper, I found myself getting confused and lost. But, I was able to jot down what I needed to change and what I needed to add, and did just that for my second test. I realized after the first test that I needed to add the last “button” which was the search button, to show how that worked. I went down the line of “button links” and realized I had to create a couple pages devoted to that as well. Also, I realized I had to be better organized. I found myself having to think about what page to put down next, so practice was important in order to understand my prototype.

    
Test two:
    I felt my second test was a lot more organized and had a better flow to it because I had chances to fix that flaws. After this one, I felt a lot more confident about what I was filming. Although, part of me feels that I did this whole prototype assignment wrong considering this is my first time ever creating something like this. But, regardless, I did feel more confident in the idea, the look and the presentation of my prototype. It’s interesting how we use the internet every single day and know it so well, then when it is time to create your own site or program, you get lost, confused and don’t even realize the technicalities of it all. I did more than two tests, but didn’t record them, but practice for something like this is important. It helps to better understand the process of the site, and I believe mine is pretty accessible and easy to comprehend. I learned Just how hard it is to have to picture a real site. I found myself thinking about it a lot each time I put down a new sheet. But testing it a few times, allowed me to dig deeper into the prototypes’ options.

    April Barkley

    April Barkley

    February 10, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    • Not sure why when I posted my homework, one of my youtube videos showed up right on there and the other one didn’t..but there are TWO video URL links..

      April Barkley

      February 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm

  2. Here’s the link to my paper prototype photo’s on flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/59350714@N05/sets/72157626023422038/with/5435854606/

    Test 1

    The first time I tested my prototype, I had no idea what was going on. I had it all thought out in my head but it just wasn’t coming out right on paper. It wasn’t as organized as I thought it would be. I didn’t have enough steps to take me through the full process. I wanted to test the website I created to make it easier for Columbia students to network easier. Instead of messaging each other back and forth through facebook and some not even getting back to you, why not have one specific site that’s made specifically for networking. I ended up having to add more steps to my prototype because the whole point of my website is to make it easier for students to find exactly what they are looking for. I couldn’t even understand putting it together at first so I knew this wouldn’t be easy to understand by others. So, I basically kind of started over and tried to figure out what I was doing wrong or what was missing that was making it so difficult to understand. I documented my prototype through pictures going step by step over the different features of my website idea.

    Test 2
    The second time I tested it, things went a lot smoother. I added actually five more steps to the process. I was jumping straight into it in my first test, which was what I was doing wrong. This time around, my test was more understandable. I even had my mom go through it and she was kind of shocked because she never seen anything like this (paper prototype) before. But as she went through it, she understood it and didn’t get confused so I knew I improved from the first test. There are still little kinks that I need to work out such as organization and how the different features should be placed. I never knew the process of what this takes to create a website but I feel confident in what I created and the outcome of it. My main goal was to make it understandable and easy to access. I know by experience that if my something is difficult to use and or understand, then no one is going to use it again. So I think I achieved my main goal. However, I did end up having to test it one more time, to make sure my paper prototype made smooth transitions.

    Samantha Battle

    February 11, 2011 at 2:48 am

  3. For my paper prototype testing, I tested several different times–mainly as I created it to see if the ideas I had in my head came across clearly. I chose to create a website, somewhat based off of the same Facebook/social-networking format but for professional use only. Any Columbia student can choose to join the site; the incentive being the chance to connect with thousands of other students in other departments with ease. Each student using it has a profile page where a portfolio of their work is located, along with their name, location, major/interest, year and a short biography. I also made the addition of listing a series of “tags” on their profile page that sorts what that student’s various areas of expertise are. These tags will help other students find them when using the search box. Instead of adding “friends”, people can choose to “support” an artist–an idea inspired from the website talenthouse.com. Also, others can view one’s rating (submitted by others who have worked with them or have seen their work) and how many “likes” they’ve gotten (based on their portfolio work uploaded) on their profile page.

    A news feed is on another tab of the website–a central location for one and all of one’s “supporters” to see recent events, updates to portfolios, etc. There is a tab for the student’s personal messages–an inbox of messages from people trying to connect/work with the student. Also–I created a tab called “Project Invites” which lists invitations from other students, companies, etc. to the student.

    My first test all the way through using the site went pretty smoothly. Since I had been thinking about the site for awhile and knew kind of how I wanted it to look, it was easier to put it together. However, there were some ideas I tried originally that I ended up throwing out or just realized wouldn’t work with real application. It was honestly a bit intimidating trying to create this paper prototype–being that I had no idea what I was doing. But after reading the postings about them on the class blog, I had a better idea of where to go. The idea of this site first came to me as the reps from the Office of Student Communications spoke about creating an easier, more accessible way for Columbia students to begin using each other creatively. This idea popped into my head immediately, and after flushing it out with a couple of tests–I think that this way of networking students could work.

    Here are pictures of the prototyping test here on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/59350130@N05/sets/72157626023163444

    Mariah Craddick

    February 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

  4. Here is my link to my test.

    Brian Stephens

    February 11, 2011 at 11:15 am

  5. Test 1:

    I made quite a few changes with my first test. I knew I wanted to make the site easier to read and navigate for students so they can collaborate better. I tried to make it as simple as possible, but then I found out that I was leaving out essential things like a back button or maybe even some drop-down menus. My first test was more about layout. I thought about the simple Facebook layout from years ago, and thought that an image with your major and year in school would be handy. I also knew I wanted to have a rating system so students could rate how well they collaborate with other students. So through trial and lots of error, I bring you my final test.

    Here’s the video:

    Test 2:

    I knew that when we sign in, we probably want to go to the front page of the site first and not directly to editing your profile. So I changed that to navigate there. I thought the talent front page looked plain. So I thought why don’t we have some industry news on the front page. The site could aggregate news from other sites about an industry. Depending on the industry you pick, the news would change to that industry. This site is for collaborating with students at Columbia, yes, but it can be a good source to get people looking to outsource their work too. Make it relevant to what we will do outside of school. I made the search a little more simple. I think the grid was too much and a little confusing. job-down menus makes for a clean layout and easy to read. On your profile page, I put an option to link your site to your Facebook and twitter page, since some of us uses that to get work as well. The key is to think big. This is a good way to get people from Columbia and outside hirers to look at Columbia students’ work and get them collaborating on projects.

    moodybluex

    February 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

  6. I set out to test a basic profile page for the communications website.

    Test One:
    I realized that the people who would be using the site and creating their own profile would want a page to see what projects ideas their colleagues/peers are interested in. I added the Project Brainstorm page.

    Test Two:
    I noticed that once a project is completed, it might be beneficial to have some tools on the site that could be used to promote the project (get the word out to others, the media included). I added a button that would input the information in the dicussion and on the project page into a general Press Release template. The user would fill out any missing information and add pictures, etc., then would be able to send it out to any participating companies or friends’ email addresses.

    Alicia Plomin

    February 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

  7. I set out to test a basic profile page for the communications website.

    Test One:
    I realized that the people who would be using the site and creating their own profile would want a page to see what projects ideas their colleagues/peers are interested in. I added the Project Brainstorm page.

    Test Two:
    I noticed that once a project is completed, it might be beneficial to have some tools on the site that could be used to promote the project (get the word out to others, the media included). I added a button that would input the information in the dicussion and on the project page into a general Press Release template. The user would fill out any missing information and add pictures, etc., then would be able to send it out to any participating companies or friends’ email addresses.

    Alicia Plomin

    February 11, 2011 at 11:49 am


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