So Greg Nudelman has published his fourth book The $1 Prototype: A Modern Approach to Mobile UX Design and Rapid Innovation for Material Design, iOS8, and RWD, and as usual it contains a host of practical examples that you can implement from day one.

The premise is simple. Using a pack of $1 “sticky” notes you can prototype and explore your mobile designs. It forces you to focus on the goals, activities, and tasks (a favorite in the UCD/UX camp) rather than getting bogged down with the Design.

As Greg says in his opening…

the $1 Prototype is about institutionalizing failure—in its cheapest and most expedient form. The faster the product team fails, the faster it gets back on track and addresses solving the customer’s challenge with realistic, functional solutions

Steps

The book is broken down into four sections, or steps:

  1. Envision
  2. Prototype
  3. Test
  4. Collaborate

Starting with creating a storyboard (also using your sticky notes), in the Envision section, Greg walks you through how to get the most out of these, building out your scenario.

One of the big pluses for me from the Prototype step is how this fits great with Google’s new ‘material design‘ approach. A couple of different colored notes and maybe a set of round stickers and you have a instant floating action bar.

Greg also gives some really good advice in the Test section about asking “leading questions” and general user interview best practices.

Examples

Not only does the book contain great sets of photos showing the sticky note prototypes and patterns, Greg has also made a series of videos available on YouTube showing people using them in action.

Well Worth It

This book can be a great resource for single practitioners or teams. I can see it fitting in with both Agile and Waterfall environments and provides a wealth of resources to up your game by working with your users to develop great RWD sites or apps.

You can buy it today on Amazon.

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First off, great points Aaron. But I think you have to re-align your viewpoint a little.

I am left wondering how do we achieve the permanence of print on the Web?

I’m continually scratching my head over this. Since when has print been permanent? The only reason we have scrolls, manuscripts, antiquarian books is not because it was on paper (papyrus, parchment, etc.) but because some body found the content valuable or of interest. Think of the amount of print we don’t know even existed. What was the 310th thing printed on Gutenberg’s press? Anyone? Bueller?

For me this is the coup-de-gras of the #indieweb. That you, the creator, own the content and have the canonical version to keep. Your two points are completely valid (and worrisome) but at least now I have the chance to move hosting or, heaven forbid, self-host. With the magic of Google, Bing, and Yahoo there’s the chance that my content if of interest, can be found again even if my domain name and hosting went in a puff of smoke.

The same can’t be said for the millions of authors whose works are lost permanently because a publisher no longer wanted to print copies. Also the content we are generating now is easier, I feel, to transfer to new mediums than hand copying & illuminating by candlelight ;-)

I know this isn’t the main thrust of #indieweb, just my two cents, on my own blog, syndicated to Twitter and your blog.

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2014-10-24 22.55.20

Inbox by Gmail invite

So yes I bitched about not getting an invite for the shiny & new on Twitter. But lo and behold, couple of days later I got my ‘Inbox by Gmail‘ golden ticket.

The app install was nice and quick. I didn’t have to enter any details or log-in by the traditional means. It just asked which Gmail account I wanted to use and checked to see if the invite was in that account. When it was, I was in.

What is does…

It shares a lot with similar email management apps such as Boxer and Mailbox. Swiping for different actions, ‘snoozing’ the email until you are ready to look at, etc. New things are setting reminders, pinning your email, and pre-sorting to Gmail’s content detector.

I’m not a big fan of the content detector in Gmail (promos, social, etc.) so I disabled it in Gmail, but with Inbox it’s front and center.

What it doesn’t…

Inbox by Gmail doesn’t work with paid accounts, so I can’t use it on my work email. I know people who solely use this option feel left out, but I am sure it’s only a matter of time before that gets rolled out too.

Another thing I noticed is that there’s no delete functionality unless you open the email. I think this could be part of the “why delete, just archive” philosophy. One thing I liked in Boxer was the “long swipe” to delete.

Now on the web…

This morning I came in to find I could access Inbox through Chrome, instead of my normal Gmail. I like that it has a different URL and still “sits on top” of Gmail.

It follows the new material design rules, though it’s not responsive as the header features overlap each other when the browser window gets smaller.

Inbox by Gmail on web

So far so good. I’m taking off other mail apps while I try this out, as I’m getting 3-4 notifications per email.

And yes, as soon as I’m able, I’ll send invites to to the few that mentioned it if they didn’t get in already.

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I’m happy to show support for ELI by voting for them in Chase’s $3M Mission Main StreetSM Grants program. You can vote too, by visiting http://shar.es/1m0PUh.

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