How we go about prototyping testable interfaces and interactions. Lecture slides will be made available on the day of the lecture (July 13).
Not just a bad movie
When your user first opens your app, they will not have you there to pitch it to them. How can you help them understand the core idea without being there yourself?
Make sure that your core idea is:
- Simple enough for them to agree or not with the purpose.
- In plain language that they would understand.
- Repeated as appropriate in the application.
- Tied to an outcome or goal that they have.
Remember: Users Have Types
- No wants to be one.
- Looking for a mental-model match.
- Not dumb, likely busy.
Remember to consider:
- What is the first thing they may do?
- What do they need to figure out?
- Are things discoverable?
While we have covered the pieces of testing your interface with others, we have not yet put them together. As part of P4 you will be testing your interface with someone outside the course.
Things to consider:
- What are you testing
- Stay neutral
- Selecting participants
- Feedback methods
What are you testing?
Consider what you want your testing to help you understand:
- The interface's purpose
- The interaction design
- The structure and flow
- A specific feature or functionality
Your job as part of a user test session is to get feedback. Do not try to sell them on your product.
Early in the prototyping process (low-fidelity), picking a more likely user is reasonable.
Once the prototype is higher fidelity picking more extreme users — people who would use the interface heavily or would be unlikely to use it all — can be useful.
Depending on what you are testing your methods may differ. Regardless of what methods you use aim to keep tasks and questions grounded in 'real' scenarios as much as possible.
For example, if building an embedded fridge interface and you want to understand how users ask it to purchase a product:
- Do not ask them to 'buy milk' as a task.
- Do tell them that they just realized they have run out of milk and they need to buy more to make a cake for a friend's birthday.
We will be critiquing sketches and take a couple of sample project submission for critique.
Next week's lecture
When We Fail
Dealing with the reality of when we fail... because we will at some point fail. Pre-recorded lectures and slides will typically become available the day of the lecture.