Prototype Testing Tips from the Pros

  • Test the prototypes with internal stakeholders (such as employees, close advisors, maybe even friends and family members) to discover the most glaring issues before showing it to anyone else. Harriet Chan, the co-founder and marketing director at CocoFinder, points out that it is “important to get feedback from stakeholders who may not be directly involved with the customer base. This could include people from management, marketing, finance or other departments whose input can be valuable in determining how well the product will meet the organization's needs.”
See how actual and potential customers move through the prototype to determine its efficacy.
  • The next step is to move on to get feedback from trusted customers. This only applies to companies that have already launched an initial product and have paying customers to lean on. These are the customers who may have given you glowing reviews, maybe a customer quote for your website, or even a full case study. They are your champions and early adopters. They also have no problem being very honest with you. They will answer all of your questions without hesitation and bring their existing experience with your product to their prototype testing session.
  • Next, you should be connecting with strangers. These might be people you’ve recruited online or willing participants sitting next to you in a coffee shop. While it’s much harder to recruit complete strangers to take part in prototype testing, they will give you the fresh perspective you need. Unlike loyal customers, they will have no idea what your existing products look like and not have any of the associated bias. However, you will have to be even more careful with the way you ask questions to make sure they aren’t just telling you what you want to hear or omitting crucial details in hopes of cutting the interview short.
  • All of the feedback you’ve compiled from these three groups will need to be synthesized by the team to find commonalities. The legitimate changes testers requested and flaws that came to light will need to be addressed as soon as possible. Then the feedback loop begins again (and it should never end!) You can both go back to the same testers if they are open to it. And, for good measure, you might want to engage some new people as well to make sure bias isn’t seeping in for the repeat testers. The goal at this stage is to determine if the changes you made were effective and if further modifications will be necessary before launch.

Decide on Format

Don’t Forget About Usability Testing

There’s nothing quite like an interactive prototype to bring the product concept to life.

Engage with a Group

Save Time by Leaning on Internal Resources First

First impressions are crucial when testing prototypes.

Use the 5-Second Test

Final Thoughts



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