Jane C's "Home Page" prototyping tool

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Jane Challinor
8 February 2013

I am fortunate to work with a VLE that allows me to customise my Learning Room "Home Page" in many ways and without the need of a programmer (or programming skills). In designing a module to develop digital information literacy skills, I want to have a home page that models good clean, attractive design and also invites students to try out social networking platforms.

Another key pedagogical principle for this module is interaction, so group areas, up to date News areas and discussion boards are also essential, as are different methods of e-assessment. I have used screen prints of contrasting Learning Rooms - with annotations - as my prototyping tool. I could use these to elicit views from staff and students about the navigability of the Learning Room as well as its overall attractiveness. 

As usual the process of embedding the Google Doc doesn't seem to work here, so please just click on the link below. Comments welcome :)

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Home Page Prototypes

Home Page Prototypes

added by Jane Challinor


Marion Manton
3:07pm 8 February 2013 (Edited 3:08pm 8 February 2013)

Thanks Jane, I think this is exactly the sort of prototyping most of us do most often, frequently in the tool itself.  This looks like a lot of homepages we have designed most often, although at the moment we are toying with more purely visual elements - we have avoided these in the past but http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ among other things has definitely upped our use of images....although now I am in danger of straying into next week's territory.

Helen Whitehead
4:34pm 10 February 2013

I think this kind of prototype is going to be typical of what many of us have to do.  Designing the "Homepage" for the course within the tool itself can be quite easy. I like what you have done, though i don't think it's quite enough for someone who doesn't have a knowledge of your aprticular VLE to be able to comment.

I have also been toying with paper prototypes (cf Helen Crump's idea), "magenetic poetry" type prototypes (though I don't think my technical skills are up to designing such a tool!)  and also using Photoshop elements to literally cut and paste elements around an image of a homepage, or mock up those elements.


Tiffany Crosby
12:22am 12 February 2013

I come to this exercise with more experience as an end-user and tester versus a designer. What I've also found challenging in doing that is that it often feels like a package deal. As in, do you like view 1, view 2, or view 3 better. When, I'd often rather say, well I like this about view 1, this about view 2, and this about view 3. So if I could get a new view with all of those somehow brought together, that's what I'd really like. It's impossible to prototype in this way but it may be possible to design testing and observations in ways that pull that out more.

Jane Challinor
4:47am 14 February 2013

Thanks for the comments. I was similarly a bit nonplussed by the demonstrations of prototyping in the videos. Without further explanation I couldn't grasp the idea or what the platform could do. I would sit down with staff and students and use the VLE editing tools live to get them to design their preferred views. The screenshots I published were just examples of what could be done.

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