FamOz - Fast Mobile Wizard of Ozzing (2013-2014)

Smart phones and tablet computers offer unprecedented opportunities to create rich user experiences that incorporate the context in which the interaction is situated. Sensors and other built-in technologies provide designers with a variety of possibilities for new and exciting applications. However, development cost is expensive and thus there is a desire for efficient prototyping methods.

For this reason, my colleague Roman Ganghör and I are creating the FamOz (Fast mobile Wizard of Oz) prototyping tool. Our approach is to adapt established prototype techniques intended for desktop computing systems to the needs of prototyping for mobile. FamOz operates at a low-fidelity level and combines the convenience of paper prototypes with the interactivity offered by modern mobile phones. We aim to use it as a prototyping tool in our own lectures, as at times neither paper prototyping nor other mock-up tools such as balsamiq deliver the kind of result we desire.

Roughly speaking, FamOz consists of three components: (1) a mobile phone/tablet which shows the mock-up prototype, (2) a 'Wizard' tablet which also shows the mock-up and an additional heat map for visualizing real-time user touch input interactions. Moreover, (2) features a remote-control which allows to change the current screen of device (1). Thus, the 'Wizard' uses her/his tablet to mimic the prototype's program logic and remotely switches screens on the user's device as a response to her/his interactions. Screens can be sketched with pen on paper and photographed with the configuration component (3), which is also installed on the Wizard's device.

Please note the PDF below for a detailed description. As FamOz is Roman's and my 'pet project' (which grew more and more complex over time), the application is not fully debugged and polished yet. However, the progress is quite advanced and we are looking forward to let students use FamOz as a prototyping tool for mobile apps.

Related Links and Images

  • Ganhör, R., & Güldenpfennig, F. FamOz: Fast Mobile Wizard of Ozzing For Sketch-based UI Prototypes. Workshop Paper presented at the Proccedings of MobileHCI 2013, Munich, Germany.
  • Ganhör, R.,  Güldenpfennig, F., Subasi, Ö. & Fitzpatrick, G. Towards Fast and Interactive Prototypes of Mobile Apps. Accepted for OzCHI 2014, PDF.