Learn how to approach testing a prototype, why you need a facilitator, and how to structure your questions based on the fidelity of the prototype. In this tutorial, Diane Cronenwett describes how to approach receiving design feedback for UX prototypes.
- [Narrator] When creating your design prototypes you'll want to be aware of the kind of feedback you're looking for as it relates to where you are in your design process. You want to make sure you get the right type of feedback that will be useful to you as the designer to incorporate back into your design. User research is its own topic, and I recommend watching UX Foundations Research to gain more understanding on the research process. At a high level, the general work flow for testing and evaluating prototypes for each level of fidelity follows a basic format.
You may need a facilitator, and this person can be a user researcher or someone else who has a neutral mind set, and who is very familiar with the prototype and the design goals. It's very important that the facilitator is neutral because you don't want someone to ask leading questions to the user or to judge the user in any way. If you're testing low and medium fidelity prototypes the designer and the facilitator will collaborate to come up with a guide for the kinds of questions you will ask around the design. The questions for low fidelity prototypes will be open ended and for medium fidelity prototypes the questions may range from open ended to specific.
And for high fidelity prototypes, the questions may be more specific. You'll need to establish a clear goal of what you want out of your test. For example, if you want to get feedback at the concept level using a low fidelity prototype, you can show the user the sketches, and some questions might be high level, like, what do you think of this idea? For a medium fidelity prototype, you might show the user a prototype that has some functional links and flows, and probe around the areas that are not functional and ask questions like, what do you think this link does? For a high fidelity prototype, you might ask more specific questions on interactive elements and task flows.
So your question might be, can you find an item you want to purchase and add it to your shopping cart? It's important the facilitator is skilled in asking the right questions. In open ended research, especially for low fidelity prototypes, the user may have more ideas and more questions, and the facilitator should be skilled in following the line of questions, and letting the conversation flow as it needs to, while having the ability to bring the user back in focus to the design if needed. Typically, while the facilitator is interviewing the user either remotely or in person the project team and the designer will observe the session.
It's critical that the designer be present at the user research sessions to hear the feedback directly from the user. No matter how solid you think your design is, it's always humbling to listen to a user walk through it. Designers will sometimes facilitate their own design sessions, which isn't a problem if the designer is open to all the feedback and maintains a curious mind set during the interview, and can ask questions without leading the user. The goal of testing your prototype is to find out if the designs resonate with users and solve their problems. Sometimes a design approach resonates, and sometimes it doesn't.
Most times, users like pieces of the design, and if you show them multiple approaches, they might pick and choose what they like from each. This is all useful information for the designer because we can incorporate the feedback and ideas into the next iteration. User research and usability testing is a field on its own and I encourage you to learn more on the topic to get a full understanding of the research process. Now that we've covered fidelity and testing prototypes let's learn more about how to create prototypes at different degrees of fidelity.
Explore the benefits, techniques, and tools of prototyping in this introductory course with designer Diane Cronenwett. Diane covers the basics of building effective prototypes with the right "fidelity," and getting more valuable feedback from your design testing. Learn how to build simple, satisfying prototypes on paper, and use digital prototyping tools like Moqups, InVision, and Axure to add interactivity and animation.
- What is a prototype?
- How prototyping helps user experience
- Defining prototype goals
- Sketching ideas
- Creating paper prototypes
- Building low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes
- Creating HTML prototypes
- Testing and evaluating prototypes
- Choosing the right prototyping tool