3.3. Testing prototypes
Thorough testing of your concepts and prototypes is critical to choosing the best approach for Beta.
3.3.1 Concept testing
In the early stages of testing, you should focus on testing concepts, not interfaces. This kind of testing could equally be described as ‘hypothesis-led research’, and it’s very similar to the research done in Discovery. However, this time you also have some concepts to share with your participants, in the form of a prototype.
In concept testing, you’re looking to answer these kind of questions:
- Does this validate our hypothesis?
- Is the problem really a problem?
- Does this solve the users underlying problem?
- How well does your concept solve the problem? Does it go far enough?
When talking to users at this stage, the script you use should be focused on how useful the the concept actually is - not whether users like it or not.
Lastly, don’t expect users to give you direct or straightforward answers to the above questions, you’ll need to read between the lines.
3.3.2 Usability testing
As your prototype progresses in fidelity and you’re increasingly confident that you’re solving the right problem in the right way, you’ll move into usability testing. This testing is less about the concept and more about the execution.
In usability testing you’re looking to answer these kind of questions:
- How easy is the service to navigate and use?
- How easy is the service to learn?
- Can a user accomplish tasks using the service?