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Rapid prototyping from the designer’s chair

So many projects don't have the best result because they never get tested or get tested at stages when it has become to difficult to make major changes. MediaLabs just released a plugin for Photoshop that has great possibilities for creating rapid prototypes. It's called Sitegrinder 2 and it can build HTML/CSS websites right from Photoshop comps. I would not just throw this into a designer's work flow and say "figure it out," since the whole process involves using strict naming conventions in order to build the site (go here to see a list of the Sitegrinder "hints").

From what I can glean from the product tour, you could take some comps from a designer and quickly clean them up and add the Sitegrinder "hints" and then throw them in front of some users and do some quick testing. Do they recognize what is clickable? Do they see how they information flows? No big deal if it's a static representation of an animated site - animation rarely helps a user "get it." I would much rather know if people are recognizing buttons for buttons before I spend time animating and adding some pop. And the Agile freaks would love this.

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