Module 3: Prototyping, Testing & Experimentation
Prototypes that Interact
These are the prototypes that enable the user to interact with it and get a sense of how it works. These are used to generate data that will further test the hypothesis.
Here are some of the prototyping techniqes that can be used to help your user interact with your prototype:
1. Wizard of Oz
These prototypes are used for testing functionality and interface ideas within software applications.
You create a paper or digital mockup of the application interface and behavior. A user interacts with the prototype as he or she would with the actual software.
Meanwhile, without speaking, you manipulate the prototype to simulate the reactions of the application in response to the user's action. All of this allows you to observe the user see what his or her interactions with the prototype would look like.
2. Role Plays
Role play is especially helpful if you're operating or designing a complex service environment. Role Play is a technique through which you or your users perform a hypothetical service experience. You imply that the service already exists and build a potential journey through some of its functionalities.
A Wireframe is a low fidelity representation of an application design. It displays a representation of every important aspect of the final solution. Specifically, it should include the main groups of content (what?), the structure of information (where?), and a description and basic visualization of the user–interface interaction (how?).
4. Mechanical Turk
This technique is similar to Wizard of Oz. Manually accomplishing a task that in the future will be done by an algorithm. From the users’ point of view, the experience is as seamless as possible, almost deceptively so. The perception is that they are interacting with “the real thing”. Eg: IBM
5. Imposter Prototype
This technique involves dressing up existing products or services to make them look like your product or service. Eg: Elon Musk
In this prototyping technique, you use the mockup, but pretend that it is the real thing. Create a non-functional version of your product and use your imagination to pretend it's functional to test if, how, and when you would use it. A Pinocchio prototype can help test the physical form factor of a product. As it is in fact a dumb prototype, it works best to convince yourself and your team, not others, that your idea is on the right track. Eg: Palm Pilot
Here, you direct customers to a website, where they see a video of your product. Alongside the video, you ask them to sign up for a beta test or even a preorder. Eg: Dropbox
8. The One Night Stand Technique
This technique is great for services. Here, you offer the services in a pared-down, minimal fashion, on a very limited time basis, to see if there is any interest. Eg: Airbnb
9. Pop-up Store
A pop-up store is a temporary physical point of sale where customers can view and purchase a product for a short period of time. This format is used to test the attractiveness of a product and the willingness to pay before launching it on the market. The most classical example of a prototype, especially for services is the pop-up store. Eg: Lemonade stalls