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For the Love of UI Prototyping


When you think about going to a class – regardless of the topic, the initial responses include ones of lethargy, disinterest, or even moroseness, accompanied by the occasional sigh. This was not the case however with one masters student at Berkeley named Ariel Haney. In fact, she was determined to take the School of Information’s UI prototyping design clinic course, even if she had to teach it by herself.

A passion for UI prototyping

Ariel Haney joined with two other masters’ student colleagues who had already taken the course and together they facilitated the class – which is under faculty supervision. The course included numerous guest speakers from various organizations and even some Ph.D. students in Computer Science in their very own University. UI designers from Google were apparently also scheduled to present at the course. What kind of passion for UI prototyping must Haney have had to initiate such a course?

UI prototyping – so what’s the big deal?

So why would someone be so enthusiastic about UI prototyping to teach the course in team teaching (or facilitation in this case), it might have something to do with what one is able to do with UI prototyping itself. UI prototyping is comprised of two terms – UI, which stands for User Interface, and prototyping, which refers to designing a prototype draft. When combined, UI prototyping generally refers to the act of making a prototype design, which includes the look and feel for the user interface. So why else would someone want to know about UI prototyping? Perhaps because of the functions themselves.

What is UI prototyping?

UI prototyping with prototyping software enables faster creation of website designs than programming the design out first and then making corrections. UI prototyping can be used by usability professionals, web-designers, or even clients for making specifications for a web-design. This also allows feedback to be gathered at every step of the process and therefore costly redesigns can hopefully be avoided. Knowing the “tricks of the trade” with UI prototyping seems to be a focus for this “UI prototyping Design Clinic” however, where the students (and apparently also the teachers) can glean off of the knowledge of others in order to hone their own UI prototyping skills. The knowledge gained through such courses on UI prototyping could have positive implications for future careers and skill in general.

All the best with UI prototyping!

With as much effort as Haney and her two colleagues have shown concerning the UI prototyping design clinic, we can only hope that it runs as smoothly as its instructors hope. As a course lead by students rather than faculty, I cannot think of a more appropriate title for it than the “UI prototyping Design Clinic”. It may be that this class will serve as a “prototype” for other courses of its kind, which are led by students. We will just have to wait and see!

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