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Internet marketing is my area of expertise. Past consulting clients include eBay, CafePress, DocuSign, myfab, and DeepDyve. Visit my consulting site at Market Extend.
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Paper Prototyping an iPad App: Business Model Generation
June 15, 2010 Jamie Shiller Business Model Generation Prototyping Visual Thinking

There’s a new iPad app to visually structure business models based on the Business Model Generation methodology. The methodology is outlined in the book
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Alex Osterwalder, one of the writers of the book, used paper prototyping to show how the new app will function.

As the name indicates, paper prototyping uses paper to mockup user interface designs. There’s a good book on paper prototyping called Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces. It was recommended to me by Dan Arkind, the CEO of JobScore.

Many folks say it’s best to start prototyping on paper before moving to computer programs like Omnigraffle, Balsamiq, or Axure. During the initial prototyping stages computer programs can constrain your creativity when defining how an app should function. It’s best to work out your ideas a bit before moving to the computer.

In the videos below, Alex uses paper prototyping on top of his iPad. Showing the paper prototype this way is really powerful. Since we can see the iPad underneath the paper, the simulation is enhanced as it really seems as if we’re looking at an iPad app.

I’ll consider buying this app when it makes it into the App Store. However, it may still be best to do the Business Model Generation work on paper. 🙂

Here’s a video showing the alpha version of the app:

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  • Thanks for sharing, Jamie.

    I've used paper prototyping in the past. It works great, but it's hard to edit an iterate.

    I started using Apple Keynote to prototype iPad apps and test them on the iPad, and it works like a charm.

    Here is a quick video showing the outcome: http://bit.ly/iPadSD