Sharp, Rogers, & Preece (2007) Interaction Design. Wiley. Chapter 11.
Cooper, Reimann, and Cronin (2007) About Face 3. Wiley. Chapter 7.
These two chapters both talk about converting requirements into real design through framework/ prototype. This is done by applying knowledge gained through previous stage — persona-scenarios and system requirements — to establish the form, input method, and functions of the product. Both chapters emphasize heavily on using low-fidelity prototype at the beginning stage, to encourage discussing, seeing big picture, and trying multiple alternatives at this stage. It is a pleasure journey reading these chapters, seeing how they evolve paper-based sketches to computer-based prototypes ready for user testing. I love the idea of storyboarding talked in both chapters. It reminds me of a class project I did about designing a personal digital health record system on iPhone. My teammates and I build up the interaction process using Powerpoint, mimicking the screen change when our persona interact with the product. It was surprisingly useful to build in the task-oriented key path scenarios, and it also did a great job conveying our design to fellow classmates.
I like Cooper’s structure more because it follows clearly with the serial pathway of developing the design, from low-fidelity framework using whiteboard sketch, to upgrade it to computer-based tool with more details gained from “key path scenarios”; and later, the combination between interaction framework with visual design framework and industrial design framework.
Compared to Cooper’s, Interaction Design gives a “parallel”-like structure: main aspects of prototyping is composed as different topics, in which more detailed comparison between different concepts and methods are given. For example, they talk more about the pros and cons of low-fidelity prototype and high-fidelity prototype, also the difference between product-oriented and process-oriented conceptual model. I love these discussions in terms of giving more deep understanding of what methods we should use and why.
Based on these features of the two books, I would suggest to read Cooper’s first to get a clear big picture and great details of how the whole design process looks like, and what stages are there to compose the work. Then try Interaction Design to extract more insights about some specific parts of the design process. See, this is also similar to the way you build the framework: skeleton first, details later.