There is a Korean saying that only the unskilled worker blames the tool. It means that regardless of tools you may use, you can still achieve a lot. However I always wanted best tool I can afford. Because I am not a master, I want a tool to be effective so that they can help me achieve better. I will introduce three tools here.
The first toolset is Lamy Fountain pen with Alt-Goldgrün (Old Golden Green) from Rohrer & Klingner. The best thing about them is I can carry always, and it’s a great pleasure to write. So it encourages me to write something down.
The second toolset is the whiteboard. It is great tool for the collaboration or even alone. It is easy to use, easy to erase and modify. Nothing is better than the mindmap on the whiteboard to organize project status. I don’t know why but if I use projector and notebook to simulate similar environment, it is not good. Or the digital ones with touch technology was not satisfactory. The drawback of the whiteboard is that I have to erase them. There is only one screen so to do another thing I have to erase. And it is hard to share with others using emails, and hard to store the progress. Cooper propose a digital camera to solve that. However I know a better tool, which is the digital whiteboard. Not the blackboard with the touchscreen. There is a kind of the whiteboard with scanner to allow scanning and printing. Some model has a USB slot to copy the scanned image. This is an example.
Finally the last toolset I would like to introduce is Balsamiq. It creates quiet unique low fidelity, but professional and aesthetic (at least in my eyes) mockup model. The advantage of using low fidelity model is well explained in the book. In my opinion, it facilities more open discussion about the possibility of the interaction framework than the realistic mockup. It takes almost same amount of effort to create realistic mockup using omnigraffle and low-fidelity mockup using balsamiq. However if we see the realistic mockup, we assume the design is final stage, and does not try to view in the out of the box. And more critical issues are when the stakeholders who does not hold the same knowledge about the design process tends to think about it is almost done, and set a unrealistic demand on the work schedule. And they tend to criticize the minor detail about color or shades, which the designer actually didn’t focused at all. So there is need of low fidelity model. And actually there is a promotion in the Balsamiq, which gives free offer for the classroom use. So if Dr.V is reading this, please visit the following link to see the condition.