Live at Mensch und Computer

After some work this morning our booth is ready for all the visitors. We have set up the live collaboration of the Prototype Creator, such that you can see on our second laptop what we are presenting at the first one. We are excited to get the first feedback for this feature, since we have installed the feature on friday.

In addition, we are playing the Usability Quartet. It is definitively fun to play this game. From time to time we will post the highscore in here. Come over and play with us!

Remember: on monday, 4pm, Tino will present our tool in room AMS2. Hope to see you there!

New Features II: Image Cropping

The second feature I would like to present is image cropping. At first I didn’t see the big value and Tino had to convince me to focus on this feature. But having used image cropping it is lightning fast to assemble a prototype out of a sample image of interaction elements.

The screenshot below shows in the center the stencil image in its full size. Around this image there are four copies of the same image with different cropping. When you have opened the editor, set the url of an image to your favorite stencils. Then start resizing the image. By pressing the shift key you keep the ratio of the image. By pressing the control button you start cropping the image. You can start cropping or resizing and to both actions in any order for several times until you have the right section of the image.

In case you need a button, take such an image, select the right section and then use a click area on top. The click area then specifies the target of the fake button. No matter whether you use some iPhone stencils, your own design, or the corporate design of your customer, it is very easy to get a prototype with some initial graphical design.

Use image cropping and accelerate your prototyping!

New Features I: Collaboration

As I already announced, by this series of blog entries we want to introduce some new features that you will be able to see and experience at the Mensch und Computer next week. The first feature are our Collaboration capabilities.

If you ever have used Google Docs with two or more people at the same time, then you know that you can just edit the document and the software cares about how to send the changes to the other users. We have implemented the same mechanism, but for our prototypes. Thus, if several users are logged in to the same prototype, every change you make will be distributed automatically to the others.

While you are editing the login part of your prototype, your colleague can design a content page. After just some second the changes will be available to the others, without any need to take care.

The same applies for running the prototype: while a test user is viewing the prototype, you can modify the same page. If the user reloads the page, the changes will be visible. This way, you can demonstrate different variants of the same page and ask for feedback to both variants.

In case you think this feature is not very interesting to you, give it a try in your next project. You will see how easy collaboration can be.

pidoco° among the winners of the “Gründerwettbewerb”

Yesterday, the winners of the German business plan contest “Gründerwettbewerb – Mit Multimedia erfolgreich starten” were anounced at the IFA in Berlin. Luckily, we were among the 14 winning teams of the second prize.

The funny thing about such occasions is, that you meet other startups that you already know from different events. This time, we met MeinKartenspiel and Telewebber. We know both founders from the first German StartupWeekend 2007.

Congratulations to all winners!

Prototype Creator in Google Chrome

The new Google browser Chrome is available since today. As it is based on Webkit we immediately tried to run our Prototype Creator in Chrome. We’re happy to see just another browser supporting SVG and therefore being a candidate for our Prototype Creator. Just Microsoft is still missing….

The screenshot shows our development version, with the improved design, running in Chrome. You will be able to see the new design together with new features at the “Mensch und Computer” next week. During the next days we will introduce some of the new features in here. So stay tuned!

Meet us at Mensch und Computer in Lübeck

We will be in Lübeck from 7.9. until 10.9. and present pidoco°. Visit us and test our Prototype Creator live at our booth.

As part of the “Usability Tools” session on monday, 8.9. we will showcase pidoco° at 4pm in room AMS2. Attend the session and get your own free account!

Deadline Extension for World Usability Day

We extended the deadline for submitting a session proposal until 10th of August.

In case you are doing some usability project in the context of web 2.0, send us some lines and share your experiences at the World Usability Day. Or maybe you just finished the work on a paper or thesis, feel free to tell us about it and present it in front of about 200 people. You ever wanted to do a workshop and help others learning from your skill set? The World Usability Day is the place for you.

We are looking forward to read your proposal. Have a look at www.wud-berlin.de for all the information about our event.

Thanks to Tortoise Design

Some weeks ago we met Fabian of Tortoise Design for a beer to discuss how they could improve their web shop usability. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to go through the whole user centered design process, but we gave them some advice on what they could do without hiring a usability professional. We also had a look at a paper prototype they already worked on.

Today, Fabian gave us a visit and showed some intermediate work on their redesign. It was interesting to see that some of our ideas made it through their usability tests. Again, we couldn’t resist to discuss the new iteration of designs. In August we might be able to see the final result, as they plan to relaunch the new version by then. It will be interesting to see how their figures will change after the relaunch.

And for these two short meetings, Fabian brought us our own logo as stickers for our laptops. They just look great, don’t you think so?

Thanks again, Fabian!

pidoco° at Usability Stammtisch Hannover

Some days ago we received an invitation to present our prototyping tool at the Usability Stammtisch in Hannover. For sure we will follow this invitation and will give a presentation on “web-based paper prototyping”. The Stammtisch takes place the 31st of July in the Apollo Konzept in Hannover. It starts at 6pm.

Our presentation will start with an introduction on paper prototyping with its advantages and disadvantages. The main part of the presentation will demonstrate our Prototype Creator and its concepts. This includes a discussion with the audience on what they think about these concepts. We are looking forward to a serious discussion.

In addition to our presentation, our friends from Nurago will showcase their LEOtrace tools as well.

See you in Hannover!

Meeting the Oryx guys

The Oryx project of the business process technology chair at Hasso-Plattner-Institute is developing a browser based editor for business processes in different notations. As we know the chair quite well, we visited them today for exchanging our experiences in development.

If you compare our preview version with their editor you will see that we both use the ExtJS framework and we both use SVG for displaying our data. However, from an architectural point of view, we differ from each other. While our server back-end provides several advantages, it is the Oryx front-end architecture that stands out in comparison to ours.

Although it might be difficult to really share a common source code basis in both projects, sharing the architectural aspects is definitively interesting for both of us. Let’s see how we can benefit even more from each other. Thank you guys for this afternoon.