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Prototype evaluation

Last updated on Feb 01, 2024

Key point:

  • What is prototype evaluation?

  • Importance of prototype evaluation.

  • Preparing for prototype Evaluation.

  • How to embed prototype evaluation.

  • Analyzing prototype test results.

  • Best practices for prototype Evaluation.

What Is Prototype Evaluation?

Prototype evaluation is the process of evaluating a preliminary version of a product or interface to gather user feedback, identify usability issues, and validate design decisions. Prototypes can be low-fidelity (sketches or wireframes) or high-fidelity (interactive mockups or near-final designs).

What is the Importance of Prototype Evaluation

Prototype testing helps in:

  • Uncovering usability and functionality problems early in the design process.

  • Ensuring that the final product meets user needs and expectations.

  • Saving time and resources by avoiding costly changes in later development stages.

Preparing for Prototype Evaluation

  • Defining Testing Objectives: Clearly outline the goals of the prototype test, including what you aim to learn and the specific aspects you want to evaluate.

  • Target Audience and Recruitment: Identify the target audience for your prototype and recruit representative participants to ensure valid feedback.

  • Selection of Prototype Tools: Choose the right tools for creating your prototype, whether you use specialized design software, prototyping platforms, or manual sketching and paper prototyping.

Creating and Presenting Prototypes

  • Developing the Prototype

    Create a prototype that aligns with your testing objectives and provides users with a realistic experience of the final product.

  • Testing Materials and Documentation

    Prepare all the necessary materials for testing, including tasks, scripts, consent forms, and user instructions.

  • Setting Up the Testing Environment

    Establish a comfortable and distraction-free environment for your testing sessions, whether in a lab setting or remotely.

Conducting Prototype Evaluation

  • Choosing Testing Methods

  • Select the appropriate testing method for your prototype, such as usability testing, user interviews, or A/B testing, depending on your objectives.

  • Running Test Sessions

    Conduct testing sessions with participants, guiding them through predefined tasks while encouraging them to think aloud.

  • Collecting User Feedback

    Gather both quantitative and qualitative data from participants, including task completion rates, user comments, and observations.

  • Handling Test Sessions

    Maintain a neutral and supportive attitude during testing, avoid leading questions, and address participant concerns or confusion.

How To Embed Prototype Evaluation

These are the steps to embed a prototype evaluation on Crowd

A. "Get a prototype link": This refers to obtaining a shareable URL that leads to a viewable prototype. This link allows stakeholders, team members, or testers to view and interact with the design without needing to have Figma installed or an account created.

  • "from Figma": Figma is a popular cloud-based design tool used for interface design and prototyping. It allows multiple users to collaborate in real time.

  • "by generating a Figma flow link": In Figma, when you're working on a design, you can create connections between frames to indicate user flows, essentially showing how a user might navigate from one screen to another. Once you've connected these frames to indicate a user journey or flow, Figma allows you to generate a "flow link" for this specific journey.

B. "Provide the link when setting up a prototype evaluation test".

C. "Add the link to generate all the available frames in the Figma prototype, to select your desired start and end frame for task-based evaluations".

Analyzing Prototype Test Results

  • Quantitative and Qualitative Data

    Interpret both types of data to identify usability issues and opportunities for improvement.

  • Identifying Usability Issues

    Categorize and prioritize identified usability issues, noting their severity and impact on the user experience.

  • Prioritizing Feedback

    Determine which issues require immediate attention and which can be addressed in later iterations.

Iterating and Improving Prototypes

  • Incorporating Feedback

Implement changes and improvements based on user feedback, refining the prototype for subsequent testing cycles.

  • Testing for Specific Changes

Conduct targeted tests to evaluate the impact of specific design alterations and verify that they address identified issues.

  • Continuous Iteration

Prototyping and testing should be ongoing processes, with each iteration bringing you closer to a user-friendly and effective final product.

Best Practices For Prototype Testing

  • Clear Test Objectives

    Set clear and specific testing objectives to avoid ambiguity and ensure meaningful results.

  • Target Audience Alignment

    Ensure that the chosen testing audience matches your intended user demographics as closely as possible.

  • Ethical Considerations

    Respect ethical guidelines, obtain informed consent from participants, and protect their privacy.

  • Collaboration and Communication

    Maintain open and effective communication among the project team members, incorporating feedback and insights from all stakeholders.