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Jim Henson and Prototyping (with Puppets)

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Jim Henson and Prototyping (with Puppets)

When you can make just about anything, how do you know which option is the best one for modeling your ideas when it’s time to get started? Fifty years before ‘prototyping’ became a familiar concept, Jim Henson was mastering its foundational elements—using his muppets, of course. Henson also faced the same challenge that contemporary User Experience professionals know well: the paradox of prototyping choice; in tools and in process. Henson had notebooks full of ideas in various stages of development, and when he was ready to see which of his ideas were worth refining, he turned to sketching, storyboarding, patterns, iteration, and live testing to deterring his next steps.

Jim Henson was a UXer at his core. He cared about an authentic experience for his audience, and ensured that his team produced great work without spending any more time than was necessary to validate ideas. This early UXer can teach us a lot about how to apply those principles to the work we do today, with or without the help of Muppets.

When you can make just about anything, how do you know which option is the best one for modeling your ideas when it’s time to get started? Fifty years before ‘prototyping’ became a familiar concept, Jim Henson was mastering its foundational elements—using his muppets, of course. Henson also faced the same challenge that contemporary User Experience professionals know well: the paradox of prototyping choice; in tools and in process. Henson had notebooks full of ideas in various stages of development, and when he was ready to see which of his ideas were worth refining, he turned to sketching, storyboarding, patterns, iteration, and live testing to deterring his next steps.

Jim Henson was a UXer at his core. He cared about an authentic experience for his audience, and ensured that his team produced great work without spending any more time than was necessary to validate ideas. This early UXer can teach us a lot about how to apply those principles to the work we do today, with or without the help of Muppets.

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Jim Henson and Prototyping (with Puppets)

  1. 1. Russ Unger | @russu Jim Henson & Prototyping with Puppets
  2. 2. Russ Unger | @russu Jim Henson master of muppets
  3. 3. #UXMuppets | @russu
  4. 4. #UXMuppets | @russu
  5. 5. #UXMuppets | @russu I believe that life is basically a process of growth - that we go through many lives, choosing situations and problems that we will learn through. “
  6. 6. #UXMuppets | @russu The 1950s
  7. 7. #UXMuppets | @russu The 1960s A
  8. 8. #UXMuppets | @russu The 1970s
  9. 9. #UXMuppets | @russu The 1980s
  10. 10. #UXMuppets | @russu The 1990s & Beyond
  11. 11. #UXMuppets | @russu The 1990s & Beyond
  12. 12. #UXMuppets | @russu Project Ecosystems
  13. 13. #UXMuppets | @russu Designer Product Manager Project Manager Marketing QA Dev Client?
  14. 14. #UXMuppets | @russu MuppetLean
  15. 15. #UXMuppets | @russu M Minimum + = Viable Kermit
  16. 16. #UXMuppets | @russu MVK
  17. 17. #UXMuppets | @russu Iterate 1955 1965 1968 1978 , Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
  18. 18. #UXMuppets | @russu 2005 , IterateIterate, Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
  19. 19. #UXMuppets | @russu Sketching / Storyboarding / Prototyping
  20. 20. #UXMuppets | @russu Sketching Henson started sketching characters and comic strips as a kid. He realized that sketches were inexpensive ways to explore his ideas. He never stopped.
  21. 21. #UXMuppets | @russu
  22. 22. #UXMuppets | @russu
  23. 23. #UXMuppets | @russu
  24. 24. #UXMuppets | @russu
  25. 25. #UXMuppets | @russu Storyboarding A storyboard is a graphic organizer that visually tells a story. Creating a storyboard helps you plan your story shot by shot.
  26. 26. #UXMuppets | @russu
  27. 27. #UXMuppets | @russu
  28. 28. #UXMuppets | @russu Lend4Health.com Home Page (0.0.0.0) Search Loans to Fund (1.0.0.0) Loan Details (1.1.0.0)
  29. 29. #UXMuppets | @russu Lend4Health.com Home Page (0.0.0.0) Search Loans to Fund (1.0.0.0) Loan Details (1.1.0.0)
  30. 30. #UXMuppets | @russu Patterns
  31. 31. #UXMuppets | @russu Patterns Original Muppets were designed so that ~6 Muppets could be easily made from a single design.
  32. 32. #UXMuppets | @russu CSS for Muppets? .muppet-eye-blue { background: blue; border-top: 3px solid black; height: 65%; } .muppet-body-blue { background: blue; border: 0; height: 80%; }
  33. 33. #UXMuppets | @russu
  34. 34. #UXMuppets | @russu
  35. 35. #UXMuppets | @russu
  36. 36. #UXMuppets | @russu Hacking
  37. 37. #UXMuppets | @russu Bernard Tyers Belén Barros Pena ~$3,000.00 http://www.diymobileusabilitytesting.net/
  38. 38. #UXMuppets | @russu
  39. 39. #UXMuppets | @russu Travis Isaacs keynotekungfu.com
  40. 40. #UXMuppets | @russu What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing and what do we think we might see?
  41. 41. #UXMuppets | @russu Hacking Jim needed to see what the viewer would see, so he started using a “monitor” to view scenes from where he was located.
  42. 42. #UXMuppets | @russu Hacking
  43. 43. #UXMuppets | @russu (So What?) Jim Henson made sketching and prototyping a constant part of his thinking process. He continually evolved everything he worked on. He hacked things together. He made it up as he went along. As a relatively new industry, so do we.
  44. 44. #UXMuppets | @russu WWJHD? WWAPD? What Would Jim Henson Do? What Would A PROTOTYPER Do?
  45. 45. #UXMuppets | @russu I found early on, the way I operate and the way I function is by doing what seems correct. One thing just sort of leads to another and just goes from here to there. “
  46. 46. Russ Unger | @russu Thank You! chicagocamps.org

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