Review: The $1 Prototype Book

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


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.


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.