For our first project, I found that the observations and feedback lead me to a multitouch interface, or at least touch. When it came time to create a running mock-up, I found the existing tools lacking in this area because using a mouse in an environment intended for touch skews the usability benefits and issues. I don't see this as a software issue, but more of a lack of test hardware. I could go buy an iPhone and create an application specific to it for testing. A tablet or one of the new touch monitors might work, but again, this is something I'd have to buy. I could potentially use a multitouch device on a university campus if I lived near one. None of these options are really feasible for me at the moment, so is there a solution to individuals working with small projects that are touch based? Is there a way to test touch based interfaces with a mouse and gain more accurate interaction data (beyond cognitive measures)? Or is a paper prototype potentially the best way to test with users since they can simulate dragging, touching objects with their fingers, and experience moving their whole arm?
I was pointed to this post about the SDK for Microsoft Surface which permits multiple mice to simulate multi-touch interfaces. This would help verify the correct manipulation features, but would not provide accurate data for ease of use or speed for this different form of interaction. It seems like this area is currently lacking in prototyping opportunities, but then maybe that is the price of using interaction concepts with newer technology.