So, Sten... what would you prototype in?

Sten Vesterli posted an interesting blog a while back on his view about why you might choose ADF vs. APEX when building new applications or new applications pages. 

Sten, for the organization looking at using ADF, I'd love to know what recommendations you would have for prototyping a user interface prior to actually digging into ADF.  We have our fancy art tools as UX professionals, but what could an IT person do today - no net new software needed - to start creating a mockup of a screen design that they intend to build in ADF?


Sten is a senior principal consultant and partner in Scott/Tiger A/S. He is also an Oracle ACE director and a frequent speaker at Oracle and Oracle user group events.


We use paper mache and paddle pop sticks ;-)

There was a thread on something similar on the ADF EMG sometime back:



Posted by Chris Muir on August 22, 2011 at 12:21 AM PDT #

There are two approaches:
1) Use professional UI designers and usability experts, or
2) Do it yourself

If you use professionals (we don't have any in-house, so we work with a partner), you get beautiful high fidelity Photoshop/PNG files. Another professional well versed in the arcane art of ADF skinning then creates a skin (CSS file + images) that we can apply to our app. With the Skin Editor in the latest version of JDev, we're hoping this process becomes easier, because it has been painful for the skinner so far.

If the customer doesn't feel the need for professional UI and usability (and we can't convince them otherwise), we sketch the screens ourselves. In the past, we have experimented with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Visio, but we now use Balsamiq (a simple, cost-effective, good-enough wireframing tool). I like the "rough" look of Balsamiq sketches, because it keeps focus on functionality and not the spacing between buttons.

We've found that the Balsamiq approach must be supplemented with a component catalog showing examples of the actual ADF components we use. When we draw e.g. a shuttle component in Balsamiq, the customer can look up this component in the catalog to see a screen capture of the real ADF component and an explanation of the functionality.

Posted by Sten Vesterli on August 23, 2011 at 08:19 AM PDT #

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