Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
This topic will also touch lightly on the larger topic of prototyping. Although the
book does not attempt to completely cover the topic of prototyping, it will discuss
prototyping as it relates to prototyping with Excel. For a comprehensive discussion
on prototyping, we refer the reader to our first book, Effective Prototyping for
Software Makers.
Excel is an amazing prototyping tool. It is amazing because it is the only tool we
know that combines these advantages into a single tool:
n Prototyping flexibility
n Efficiency and ease of use
n Professional results
n No special skills required
n Readily available
Excel Prototyping
“Using Excel for prototyping? I don't get it!”
This is a common reaction from people when we first try to describe prototyping
with Excel. The concept is far from what you use Excel for in your daily work. For
some it is like claiming that their washing machine can mow the lawn. People
cannot visualize how it can be done until they see it.
When you look at Excel, you probably just see a spreadsheet; you just can't think
outside the table cell. To understand Excel as a prototyping tool, you will have to
step out of the mental model that says Excel is only a spreadsheet application. This
book will show you how.
Prototyping Flexibility
As a prototyping tool, Excel is not only easy to use, it is quite flexible for the various
methods of prototyping. You can create static screen wireframes, screens with
clickthrough interaction and navigation, and even prototypes that can be optimized for
different types of usability testing.
To illustrate what we mean, the following images are prototypes created in Excel.
You can experience these prototypes for yourself by visiting the book's Website
and downloading each of these examples as native Excel files:
www.effectiveprototyping.com/ep_excel/.
 
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