The blank-page technique: Reinvigorating paper prototyping in usability testing

Brian Still, John Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Arguably, usability testing is most effective when integrated into the user-centered design process. One way to encourage this integration is to reemphasize the value of paper prototyping. In a recent test of a university library website, we married low-fidelity paper prototyping with medium-fidelity wireframe prototyping. When user navigation led to nonexisting pages or dead ends, users were encouraged to create what they thought should be where there was nothing. This blank-page technique gave us insights into users' mental models regarding site content and design, providing developers with useful data concerning how users conceptualized information they encountered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5467312
Pages (from-to)144-157
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Medium-level prototyping
  • Paper prototyping
  • Usability testing
  • User-centered design
  • Wireframes


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