PICTIVE (Plastic Interface for Collaborative Technology Initiatives through Video Exploration)

PICTIVE (Plastic Interface for Collaborative Technology Initiatives through Video Exploration) is a paper mock-up technique that allows users to participate in the development process. A PICTIVE is a representation of a graphical user interface (GUI) or...

PICTIVE (Plastic Interface for Collaborative Technology Initiatives through Video Exploration) is a paper mock-up technique that allows users to participate in the development process. A PICTIVE is a representation of a graphical user interface (GUI) or a Web page on paper. A PICTIVE prototype gives a user a sense of what a system or a piece of software will look like and how it will behave once it is finished. PICTIVE enables a non-technical person to contribute ideas to the development process.

A PICTIVE is usually made from simple office supplies like pens, paper, Post-It stickers, and paper clips. The developer uses those supplies to represent elements of the project, including drop-down boxes, menu bars, and special icons. During a design session, users manipulate the mock-up so it becomes easier for them to use. The development team takes notes and incorporates user ideas into its work. The development team also uses a video camera to record the physical changes a user might make to the PICTIVE. The team then reviews the ideas generated and incorporates them into the project. The ultimate goal of a PICTIVE is to simplify the design process enough that non-technical users are empowered to participate in it.

Developers at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) are credited with creating PICTIVE in the early 1990s.

This was first published in August 2005

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