The digital UX toolbox has long offered the User Experience community a wide variety of solutions. With COVID-19 lockdown and WFH, their adoption has been given new impetus.
“The UX of UX”
But wait! Let’s be clear about the user experience of user experience: UX is about solving a problem for a user, empowering them on their journey, not to make them like you or to sell them something they don’t need. Same for UX peeps. Empower yourself. Don’t use digital for digital’s sake. Be your own best friend.
When it comes to replicating the old school creativity experience of using pen, paper, and Post-it Notes (or ‘Sticky Notes’, if you like), or your kitchen wall online there are options. Analog and digital output is easily combined, shared and collaborated on in the cloud.
A combination of online and offline solutions may be ideal. For example, here is a combination of paper and pen, mobile phone, Marvel App, and an IPevo Point 2 View camera all working together to test a paper prototype:
Here are some team favourites used from the home office to consider: Balsamiq, Marvel App, Mural, Miro, LiveScribe Echo, and the IPevo Point 2 View. Ideal for distanced UX work, COVID-19 or otherwise!
Balsamiq is a low-fidelity wireframing tool. It comes with a very useful set of UI stencils and connectors, easily combined and iterated; all exportable to different formats. (The stencils can also make useful cut-out components for paper prototypes!)
Marvel App is a cloud-based solution that enables designers to create mobile interactive prototypes from paper using their own devices and then share them directly over the Internet. Ideal for collaborative review of prototypes and for remote testing.
A whiteboard-style online wall for assembling project artefacts, Mural includes the equivalent of the UX industry duct tape as components — Post-it Notes — and connectors to organize those discovery and framing design assets.
An online design and development whiteboard with useful templates for agile ceremonies and UX storyboarding and mappings. No need to draw on the windows or walls of your apartment to replicate those Agile principles.
A digital solution for drawing with a pen-like stylus while recording your out-loud thoughts or instructions in real-time via a special paper; clearly communicating designs visually and audibly.
iPevo Point 2 View
A very useful desktop directional camera for remote testing by capture and recording of smaller interfaces and interactions such as mobile or wearable tech.
You may have other favourite UX tools to share, including new found uses for old ones, and the reasons why as you navigate the pandemic.
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(All images by author)