Before conducting lo-fi prototype testing, consider these points:
- Understand what should be especially tested – Scenarios, tasks, goals
- Build, with minimum effort, the most critical views – Use paper, pen, post-it notes and stencils – Or use online mockup tools
- Plan how to conduct the test session – Who, where, roles, documentation
A simple script (example) for paper/mockup prototype test might include:
- a list of task names and numbers
- brief scenarios and tasks
- assumed steps to complete these scenario related tasks – this is a note for yourself
- descriptions of end-results; when the task is completed
User (or two) represents the target market and perform realistic tasks using the prototype.
Facilitator runs the session. Main responsibility is to ensure that the session isn’t too stressful on the test participants, who tend to blame themselves if problems occur. On the other hand, the facilitator needs to probe into the issues that arise. These two issues should be balanced.
Members of the development team are observers, taking notes about what works well for the users and what confuses them.
Computer manipulates the paper interface pieces to mimic the behavior of the system. The Computer does not explain the interface (most machines can’t talk), so it’s up to the users to figure out how to accomplish their tasks.
A test session could consist for instance of following steps:
- Greetings; introducing team members and explaining the test method
- Mention that it is not a user who is tested but the system
- Start with light background questions
- Explain briefly what is the starting point, e.g. “This is landing page of ourapp.com, it is a …”
- Introduce the “Computer” and give instructions, e.g. “Point with your finger/mouse to simulate a click”
- Remind the participant to think aloud, e.g. “I think this link would lead me to…”
- Introduce the first task, make sure that it’s clear for the user
- Move to the next task when the goal is achieved or user expresses that he/she does not know the answer
- Conclude the test session by asking if the user has anything to add
- Thank the participant and discuss the results with your team
Paper prototype test
Just for fun
Rather relaxed approach to prototyping
Testing with fruits