Last night I attended a meeting of the Interaction Design Association, specifically it was a mini conference on Prototyping. This is a free organization that started as a mailing list, but has since spread throughout the world with many local chapters. So far, I like it very much.
I presented for 5 minutes on the prototypes I use with Marketo. There were 9 other presenters who showed their own prototypes. I was fascinated by each one. The interesting thing to me was that each presenter used a different tool. Some were PowerPoint, Axure, Dreamweaver, Visio, and of course the old standbys paper, cardboard, glue and sticky notes. Each tool had advantages and the presenter clearly had become very good at it. I am not sure how they viewed my technique.
The sponsor was Adobe. At first, I thought it was simply out of the goodness of their heart. What is good for designers is good for Adobe. However, they were actually pitching a new product to us called Flash Catalyst. At first, I was thinking, “Ugh, no way, just get through your pitch so I can go home”. But after a while, I was really impressed. The way I use Powerpoint to storyboard my interaction design is not that different from what they were showing. It allowed for a pretty rich prototype with seemingly little work. It would allow me to stay in Photoshop longer rather than move to PowerPoint. I am going to download it and try it when I get a chance.
I don’t know if Flash/Flex will get their act together to make an acceptable solution for web developers, but I certainly appreciate the direction they are going.