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The question looks silly but I'm currently working on a small project that involves creating a paper mockup.

The point is to learn and understand how paper mockups help to do user centered design (UCD). My problem is that I'm not sure whether I should model every "if-then-else" aspect of the system, because doing so would result in a very large mockup.

Are there any people out there who have some experience with paper prototyping?

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The level of details for paper prototypes will depend on the complexity of the design and interactions required to meet user requirements.

This being said, Paper prototypes seem to address basic design problems such as layout of elements and basic workflow. On the other hand if the design the paper prototype is supposed test is complex, both in terms of layout and workflow then paper prototype is not the right tool for the job.

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There is no "one size fits all" answer here.

The point of a prototype is to serve its purpose. No more, no less. All else will flow from this. The purpose may be to communicate design. The purpose may be to answer questions through user testing. The purpose may be to flesh out details in the design. You must decide what the purpose is before creating your prototype.

The fidelity of the prototype needs to be enough to serve the purpose and no more. You should never create a prototype (paper or otherwise) without understanding why. It sounds like from your question you don't have a clear goal in mind. Figure out what that is first before deciding you must do a paper prototype.

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Mockups and prototypes are very different. If you plan on creating paper mockups, it doesn't have to be super extensive or detailed. The general layout is most important. If you plan on doing paper prototyping, you should consider creating more screens so people can actually test its functionality and flow.

It's quite some work to do, but you'll benefit greatly from it! I found this website to create online "paper" prototypes. You have to upload images of your layout though, but you can shove them in i.e. an iPhone and determine the flow of the app. Pretty neat. Testers can already play around with it, which is fun.

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