Differences from Low-Fi Prototype
We made several important changes to the interface based on our feedback from testing the low-fi prototype. In terms of workflow, we overhauled the process for creating a new syllabus. Instead of having one long page where all the basic course information was entered, we created four separate screens with smaller, more digestible bits of the necessary information. Also, once this initial required information was entered, we take users to the administrivia editing page so they can continue to add general information like instructors, textbooks, and resources. In the paper prototype we had taken users from basic course setup straight to their schedule, and this was confusing when they needed to go back and add a professor.
Our other major change involved our navigation. In the paper prototype, we put the various syllabus editing sections (administrivia, schedule, assignments and exams) in the left sidebar with the more general navigation links. This proved to be problematic, so we made the sections of the syllabus into tabs and moved them to the top of the page, leaving only global navigation links in the sidebar. And, as expected, we renamed various navigation links, most notably changing "Course Info" into "Administrivia" as was preferred by our prototype users.
As for the more minor changes, we rearranged the order of some of our form fields (and some of our drop down menus) to reflect a more intuitive flow of concepts. Originally, some of our field order had been based on what we had in the XML schema of our data model, but this was not the best sequencing for our users. Also, we changed some of the vocabulary in our links and form fields in response to user confusion. We removed redundant fields, such as professor initials, which are required by the back end but which can be extrapolated from other entered information (i.e. professor first and last name). And we made sure that we had no live links to undeveloped areas of the prototype, so users will not try to access pages that are not functional. Finally, we added a calendar of the current semester to the left nav bar, since our low-fi testers professed a desire to see their potential class dates right off the bat.
Also, since the paper prototype was very rudimentary and focused on workflow rather than design, the first interactive prototype is far more polished and visually attractive than the low-fi, with different colors, a nice logo, and more consistent and streamlined design.