When is this method appropriate?
Within the rapid prototyping clickable or functional prototypes are multiple tested within a short space of time and they continually optimised up to product maturity. The iterative testing with just a few applicators allows a precocious and efficient discover and solving of defects and problems that no superfluous programming expenses and project delays emerge.
- Is the interaction process of central operating processes comprehensible? Does e. g. the check-out process have unexpected usage-problems in purchasing in online-shops?
- Are the categories, buttons and links conform to expectations and comprehensible named?
- Are the navigation elements intuitively comprehensible and operated? Does the user recognise at any point of time where he is and what his operation options are in an e-commerce-offer?
- Is the arrangement of central site elements conformable to this particular website-type and to users’ expectations?
- Does the layout concept of single sites work?
- Which tested concept is preferred by the users?
And many more …
In what project phase applicable?
With help of this test approach the information architecture, the navigation and user guidance as well as the interaction design of an application or website can be tested in early phases to recognise problems referred to the use of the planned application as soon as possible.
What is the procedure of this method?
Chosen test subjects test a prototype in several refining-levels over sighted by our experts at the rapid prototyping.
After every test-level the prototypes are going to be improved on basis of the identified problems and on the know-how of our experienced usability-consultants. Our consultants interpret and derivate recommendations. Directly afterwards the aligned prototype is used by chosen test subjects in another test-level. This process can be run through any times until the defined targets are fulfilled or until the test subjects do not have any problems in using the prototype.
During the test sessions chosen test subjects use separately this prototype by concrete assignments (for example a query, perform an order, contact support, registration for newsletter, etc.). The test subjects are observed by our usability-experts during solving the task. In addition, spontaneous comments, ratings and thoughts (so-called thinking-aloud protocols) are recorded and documented.
Usually three test wraps are sufficiently. At the end of this iterative process there is a final prototype of high quality which is conformable to the requirements and expectations of the users referred to information architecture, navigation and user guidance and interaction design.
In this test it is absolutely usual to test simultaneously several prototype versions (in a direct comparison) and by doing this, to come closer step by step to the optimal version (so-called combined parallel and iterative tests).
Strengths of this method
- This method enables an efficient testing of the prototypes within a short space of time during the early conception phase.
- The product or the prototype is continuously optimised during the test phase.
- Defects and problems can be precociously identified and eliminated so that no superfluous development costs incur.
- Due to the creative atmosphere the test subjects make more-than-average productive suggestions.
What about the sample size?
To identify an absolutely trend it is important that enough test subjects use the particular variant. On basis of your expectations that we have made during the past projects 5 test subjects need to be interviewed in each test level and for each prototype variant.
How much time takes the implementation?
The test phase takes about 5 days (incl. optimisation days). The final report can be presented 3 days after the last test session. One should consider that the particular optimisation or prototype alignment can take up more time. This depends on the scope and detailing rate of the prototype.
What input do you have to provide?
Optimally you come to our premises with concrete questions that we enquire within a test. We would like to work out with you this kind of questions in a workshop.
Simple, functional prototypes (click-dummies) are appropriate to use them for to tests of concrete tasks or functionalities and interaction flows. If you just have screens (graphical worked out site displays) or wireframes (schematic illustrations), we can create a clickable version on the base of these masters.
Furthermore, a very intensive collaboration between the usability-experts of the eResult GmbH, the responsible product managers and the developer is important during the whole test phase.
What do you receive from us?
At the end of this iterative process there is a final prototype with high quality and user-friendliness.
In addition, you receive the following:
- Interpretive chart report that contains a summary of the findings of every single test phase.
- List of optimisations that have already been implemented during the single iteration steps.
- Further categorised and priorised guidance and design recommendations for the implementation/programming in form of wireframes/function layouts.
- Set of highlight video-scenes if you want a computer and video supported record of the complete test situation.
On demand we present the results and findings of the test within a moderated workshop.
If required, our experts support you during the ascertainment of the requirements and expectations of the users of the particular application (for instance within focus groups and panel surveys).During the creation of the prototypes the eResult GmbH can conceptional assist you.
Do you have any further questions? Please do not hesitate to contact us! We would like to consult you.
- Martin Beschnitt
- +49 (0)40-36166798-1