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This article was published on January 18, 2011

Web design gets physical with Poland’s UXPin

Web design gets physical with Poland’s UXPin
Courtney Boyd Myers
Story by

Courtney Boyd Myers

Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups gr Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups grow internationally. Previously, she was the Features Editor and East Coast Editor of TNW covering New York City startups and digital innovation. She loves magnets + reading on a Kindle. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter @CBM and .

As the digitized world becomes increasingly encompassing, it’s unusual and refreshing to see a company bring it back to the drawing board, literally.

UXPin‘s portable kit is the first ever complete tool to prototype website ideas on paper. At first, I thought it was backwards to start one’s web design on paper. After all, aren’t there a myriad of expensive wireframing computer programs that could do something similar and save you time in the end?

I tracked down a few UXPin users and here’s what they said:

“UXPin is most useful in a workshop or meeting situation, when working directly with the client. We employ a collaborative approach to concepting and prototyping, and not only are our clients excited by the idea of UXPin and rapid paper prototyping, but they also love the fact that UXPin allows them to be directly involved in a process, that if done on a computer in isolation, they would usually be shut out from.

With this in mind, it actually works as a great risk management tool. By engaging stakeholders early in projects, we can ensure their vision and our proposed strategy and direction are aligned from the start. UXPin allows them to envision their product in a way they can relate to, away from software and technical jargon whilst still understanding the complex nature of the problem, as we propose the simplest and most efficient interaction design and user experience for them.” – Jamie Brooker Co-Founder of We Are Human in London, UK.

“I use the UXPin as a tangible way of getting my team involved in the design decisions at an early stage of the development process. Being able to represent form prototypes on paper gives my guys a greater level of insight into the interactions we will be building for the end customer, and this allows us to define good and bad user expereinces at an early stage in the process.” -Stephen Colman, an online developer for a large financial services organisation in Australia.

Essentially, UXPin is THE canvas for web design and it holds its greatest value in brainstorm sessions. Sketching is often faster, especially for designers who don’t want to spend all day in Dreamweaver. UXPin lets you envision what a sketch would look like without having the browser and sections completely flushed out.

According to Todd Zaki Warfel, in his book “Prototyping,” paper prototyping is still used by 70% of designers. But classic paper prototyping and sketching ideas don’t always look professional enough for clients or the boss.

So the 3 person UX team in Poland redesigned paper prototyping. “It may sound crazy as we tried to redesign something that is very, very, very simple, but well… we believe in a change and our ability to make everything better,” says Marcin Treder, a Co-Founder of UXPin. The result? A technology that consists of GUI elements with post-it-like glue strips and paper browser notepad.

So will Poland conquer the tech world? Marcin Treder believes so.

Though Poland wasn’t very active on the world start up scene, we have great professionals here. Soon we’ll be able to conquer tech world. Running a company in Poland isn’t too different from the other parts of the world. It requires lots of self discipline, devotion and passion. We love what we do and we get lots of support from our families, friends and clients. We can overcome any obstacle with that. UXPin gained recognition and great, devoted, clients surprisingly fast.We didn’t expect that in the first several days after launch we’d get clients from the most respectable interactive agencies, freelancers and companies such as Google, Microsoft, Blackberry, MySpace and IBM.

While UXPin works perfectly in a smaller workshop situation, one user wished for a larger version, which is apparently being developed. UXPin for mobile is also coming soon.

Each UXPin costs $19.99 and you can buy it here. Follow UXpin on Twitter or like them on Facebook.

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