Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Testing wireframes and interaction patterns, part of Mapping the Modern Web Design Process.
- In addition to the card sorting exercises, you should also test the preliminary wireframes and plan interaction patterns on end users. Present the end user with paper versions of the wireframes and have them access the content and pretend to navigate through the different sections. If they navigate to a new page, swap the pages. If they activate an interaction pattern like a hidden menu on a mobile device, have a paper version of the menu overlap the section it would overlap on the website.
Essentially, you are mimicking the real-world behavior of the final product as you currently envision it. Here it's vitally important that the content on the pages is real content from the site. You want the end user to interact with the content as if she was accessing it in real life and this can only be done by presenting her with the actual content itself. During this test, you first want the user to interact with the content in the way she intuitively thinks it will work.
Do not answer questions along the way and allow her to find her way on her own. If there is a particular section or pattern you want her to test, give high level instructions like make a search, subscribe to a newsletter, or ask the site owner a question without indicating where or on what page this is done. Make every effort not to lead the tester along the path you've already state out earlier. Remember, you're testing for intuitive understanding of the content and layout.
After the initial run-through, ask the user if anything was unclear or confusing. Have her draw and annotate the paper pages with any comments or questions to indicate where the sticky points where, what she expected to see happen and what, if anything, is unnecessary, distracting, or missing. As with the card sorting exercise, the data gathered from multiple rounds of wireframe and interaction pattern testing should be brought back and analyzed. The findings from this round of testing should be put against the existing wireframes and consistent sticky points, problems, and suggestions should be incorporated into the wireframes and content strategy before moving on to the next phase.
- Understanding what your users care about
- Creating user personas
- Creating content priority hierarchies
- Testing wireframes and interaction patterns
- Establishing a three-track build process
- Incorporating accessibility principles
- Using content blocks
- Testing and revising your web design
- Optimizing for social media and SEO
- Launching your web design
- Getting feedback from users