There is a gap between low-fidelity prototyping using paper and high-fidelity prototyping using computers in web design. Both serve well in different stages of web design, but are not well integrated. Prior studies have examined the practice of web designers. The studies resulted in a number of alternative prototyping tools, which focus on informal representation and try to prolong sketching in the design process.
The thesis proposes a design of a prototyping tool that makes use of existing paper sketches. In paper prototyping, a human who acts as the “computer” makes the sketches interactive. In the prototyping tool put forward in the thesis, the interactivity of the sketches is instead created on the computer. The novel prototyping tool needs to support the interactions and behaviours used in web design, and it must be easy to use so that the web designers do not have to invest too much time learning it.
The prototype of the tool is a sketch-and-scan interface, thus allowing the use of paper the way it is. The functionality supports both documentation and computer interactivity. Usability tests and expert reviews were conducted, involving students, lecturers and researchers in human-computer interaction.
The results elaborate previous research on prototyping practice, and a designers’ wish list was formulated. A prototyping tool is expected to support communication between users, designers and developers; as well as to reduce a designer’s need to change his work practice when using the tool.