How exactly does product prototype testing work and how is it performed? Generally speaking, a complete prototype testing will include the following stages.
Just as introduced earlier, prototype testing is based on prototypes, through which ideas and assumptions are verified. Therefore, before starting to do prototype testing, we first need to have a prototype.
To conduct effective proto mold testing, it is essential to have a prototype in place. Prototypes serve as the foundation for verifying ideas and assumptions, facilitating the process of prototype testing and enabling valuable insights for product development and refinement.
It is not necessary to make a product prototype that is exactly the same as the actual product, nor is it necessary to make a very perfect prototype, which wastes time, affects the agility of testing, and wastes design resources. Therefore, based on the purpose of this prototype test and the goals we are trying to achieve, we should make the parts related to the test purpose high fidelity and the parts not much related to the test low fidelity, in order to achieve the test goals with minimum cost while meeting the minimum needs.
When it comes to proto mold products, it is not necessary for the product prototype to be an exact replica of the final product. By focusing on the relevant parts with higher fidelity and deprioritizing less essential components with lower fidelity, we can conduct efficient and cost-effective prototype testing that aligns with our goals and objectives while conserving design resources.
So who should make the prototype? There is no exact answer to this question, it mainly depends on the human resource allocation of the team. Generally speaking, in companies equipped with UX teams, the task of making prototypes is usually taken up by designers, which can make the prototypes look closer to the actual products and ensure that the test results will not be disturbed by some irrelevant factors.
The writing of a prototype test plan can be done at the same time as the production of the prototype. There are two main purposes of writing a test plan: one is to plan what to do for this test, especially the preparation of test tasks is crucial to ensure the smooth running of the test; the second is to facilitate communication between user researchers and product managers and developers through the plan, so that they can be more involved in the user research tasks to ensure that the output test results are quickly understood and recognized.
The product prototype testing plan generally includes the following parts.
1. Introduction to the testing method and purpose
A brief introduction to the prototype testing method and a focus on what the purpose of this prototype testing is, what problems it is intended to solve and what goals it is trying to achieve.
2. User recruitment scheme
It mainly introduces who the target users of this test are, what kind of users need to be recruited to meet the conditions, such as experienced or inexperienced users, how many users need to be recruited, whether these users need to be grouped according to certain conditions, and how to recruit them, etc.
3. Testing task
The test task is to test what specific content, functional, interactive or visual, which is the focus of the test plan and the basis to ensure the effectiveness of the prototype test. Only when you sort out which tasks and contents you want to test before the test starts, it is possible to validate ideas and assumptions effectively.
Generally speaking, testing tasks should be designed in conjunction with prototypes and requirement documents, focusing mainly on key features and experiences of the product, or on matters that are pending and uncertain to the team. In terms of dimensions, it can be written in three aspects: associated pages, testing tasks, and task content.
(1) Associated pages: which or which pages are involved in the content being tested.
(2) Test task: what issue or target is being tested, i.e., the core concern of this test.
(3) Test content: the specific matters or assumptions that the test task mainly tests.
4. Product prototype testing arrangement and budget
Mainly introduce the time schedule, staff division and budget expenditure of this test.