Today’s post is from Toni Allen, one of our very own Senior UX Researchers. Enjoy!
Getting creative with your testing strategy in the Prototyping stage of any project can have big payoffs. Even if you think you don’t have anything in-hand that can be tested, early feedback could mean the difference between a good project and a great project. (We’re gunning for great!)
With a little creativity, there’s always something you can test. No, this doesn’t mean using fancy tools or taking up tons of time. There is a broad range of tools available to help you create wireframes or prototypes so you can collect user feedback before you start coding. This will help you save time and money, and probably earn you some major kudos for doing the job right the first time.
The trick to quick and insightful testing is to consider different approaches to traditional high-fidelity, interactive prototypes. By letting go of the common misconceptions of prototypes (listed below) and sneaking in a few creative tests, you could uncover something that makes your website or app’s success skyrocket.
I should have a working beta or live site before I start usability testing.
Users should be able to “do” something in a prototype.
If I show static screens to users, they won’t “get it.”
I know what I want users to see, but I don’t know how to generate it.
Prototyping is about the site itself.
Prototypes can help you evaluate the full spectrum of your user experience, cover your bases, and fill any gaps that prevent you from creating a complete sense of confidence for your stakeholders. If it’s challenging to test any of the following on your fully operational site or app, consider creating prototypes to round out your testing strategy.
Prototypes can be powerful in many ways! If you are creative and purposeful when using prototypes to test early and often, you will gain insight early on that could significantly improve the user’s experience. Better experiences = happier people. Happy people purchase your product or service - and recommend it! Rock the experience, rock the bottom line.
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About the author:
Toni Allen is a former Senior UX Researcher at UserTesting. She has helped hundreds of UserTesting customers run usability tests and market research studies (using live sites and prototypes!) on the UserTesting platform. She has also been a Product Manager and Marketer for consumer experiences at HP.