Interactive Prototypes with Keynote

After reading Maureen Kelly’s excellent article on Interactive Prototypes with PowerPoint on Boxes and Arrows, I was reminded of how nicely simple tools can be used to quickly show ideas like this. I’ve tried this before with Flash, but it was too awkward. I’ve also tried it with Adobe Acrobat, but I don’t like using that program. It doesn’t seem well suited for that.

Yet both Acrobat and presentation software like PowerPoint and Keynote let you make “links” in your presentation, and since you can save them out to PDF files, you get the same effect. It’s like a paper prototype on your display! In fact, you could just scan in a bunch of pages of prototypes you’ve sketched out, and make the links on there actually work, which is about the quickest way I can think of to get click-ability on a primitive prototype like that.

Curious, I downloaded the example PowerPoint files from that article, and they opened in Keynote beautifully. I was able to use the links and everything. From there, I was even able to export a PDF, which also worked perfectly, links and all.

So I highly recommend this method for quickly showing clients how your website will work. It could save you tons of time, backtracking because your layout or flow doesn’t make sense!

Raymond Brigleb

Creative Director, dreamer, partner, father, musician, photographer. Has been known to ride the rails. Pulls one heck of a shot.