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Phase 5: Test and Learn

Finally, we interview 5 users to test our understanding of them, their context, and our prototype. This is not a usability test. We begin the conversation as an interview before showing them the prototype.

One of our designers interviews each user. We set them up in an interview room with video and audio streaming to the observation, where the rest of the stakeholders are watching, discussing, and recording answers on the scoreboard.

Good questions are open-ended to allow users to tell stories.

"Could you tell us about a time you donated to a non-profit?"

Don't lead users to an expected answer.

"Would you donate money to a public school if you could?"

Don't close the conversation.

"Have you donated money to an organization within the last week?"

For a new product, it's unlikely that any team will nail it their first sprint. The most likely outcome is that we'll want to run a follow-on sprint starting at Diverge or Converge and test again with new users.

After one or two sprints, we typically have many assumptions validated, a clear critical path established, and are ready to begin coding a first version to release to a wider audience.

For web apps, we can typically ship a first version in 4-6 weeks. For mobile apps, we can typically ship a beta via HockeyApp in 6-8 weeks and ship to the App Store in 8-10 weeks.

Given those timelines, spending an extra 2-5 days doing a second or even third truncated product design sprint is worth the opportunity cost of spending 4x-10x more time and money to learn we bombed.

Another outcome is that there's no clear user pain, or the business model is murky, or everything we thought we knew was proven wrong. That's an emotional blow, but a success. Time and money were saved.

We end the phase with a plan for moving forward.

Lyda

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In person, small teams, focused sprints. 13 years & 700+ successful clients.

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