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The app in question targets your typical mouse/trackpad + keyboard users.

Actually having someone draw using pencil+paper (e.g. on a paper prototype) misses the point which is that it sucks to draw with a mouse!

I don't have much (any) development resources to spend putting a lot of code behind the prototype.

In short, I'm stuck: if I go too "lo-fi" I miss the primary pain point. And "hi-fi" has been deemed too expensive in the short-term.

Thoughts? Other options? Tools?

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Tape a pen to the front of a mouse? – Alex Feinman Jun 18 '10 at 14:21
up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is a good question. However I think I agree with Rob. As far as testing the actual navigation and interface then prototypes will be ideal, but for testing the actual functionality then I think you'll have to get your hands dirty and knock up a slimmed-down version of the actual app.

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This is ultimately the direction I decided to go. – noluckmurphy Apr 27 '11 at 16:06

It's going to be tough to create an accurate prototype without investing in code, but 1 option is to use Axure to build a quick 'prototype'. There's an Axure widget called 'Inline Frame' that allows you to easily iframe in web pages.

You could hunt around for an app similar to the one you're working on for demo purposes. I've just knocked up a demo of what I'm talking about:

I hope that helps.

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I agree that some code will be necessary. I threw a "Hail Mary" pass to see if anyone had any wild ideas. Your demo makes sense and here's what I think we'll end up doing: We're going to setup an interactive prototype we can share within our office and other stakeholders outside the company--probably using Blend and SketchFlow as Mudassir mentions (we're a .NET company so we're already familiar with these tools). The entire focus of the prototype will be on the drawing mechanics--no peripheral stuff like saving, loading, etc. – noluckmurphy Jun 17 '10 at 19:52

I would suggest that you try the Expression Blend + SketchFlow, it will give you a very superb interactive prototyping experience for that kind of application.

see this demo:

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You could buy a LiveScribe for $129 dollars.

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Interesting idea. – noluckmurphy Jan 20 '11 at 14:51

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