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Test & Learn

Reactions to competitive demos, our assumptions for the prototype, what we were looking for and the reactions to the prototype. Going into each test you should have a plan of what you are testing and how you know if that is successful or not. This is best achieved through an Assumption / Test table

Activities for Validate and Learn

Guerilla Usability Testing

This is the most used form of testing. Bring in 4–6 potential users and show them the prototype that you made. Pay close attention to problems that they have and be sure to follow a script to cover the assumptions that you are testing. With their permission you can record these but it's best to see them as they happen.

Closed Card Sorting

A design exercise that guides us toward creating the most coherent information architecture of a product. During a card sorting session, participants are asked to associate two sets of flashcards by grouping them.

Survey Test

This is a good way to reach a bunch of potential users and see their answers. Create a simple form with Google Forms or FormKeep. Post the form to forums or other places that would have ideal users on it. Make sure the form is easy to fill out and open ended enough to collect qualitative information.

Fake landing page

To judge interest create a fake landing page with email collection. This could be something as simple as a Launchrock page or a Squarespace site or a completely custom site with a FormKeep form for email collection. Run Google Analytics and see how many people sign up and how many people visit.

Example Schedule for Validate

  • 4 User Interviews (1hr each)
    • Intro user to usability test (5 - 10min)
    • Ask user research questions
    • Our Prototype (5 - 10min)
    • Recap & Prep for next interview (10min)
  • Consolidate Notes (30min) At the end of all of the Interviews, gather everyone that watched and compare notes. Figure out where your assumptions were validated and where assumptions might have been invalidated. Decide whether you've validated enough to start building the application or start another sprint.
  • Write Sprint Summary (30min)

Case study

Example: “Connie supplied us with three interviewees (2 were done online, 1 in person; 1 was recently married). Though the dataset was limited due to the background and interest of those we interviewed, we gained some important insight to help us build a superior wedding planning product. People's complaints about competing wedding sites, such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Offbeat Bride, were about the lack of focus on those websites (too disorganized, too much information). They were most engaged by browsing things like wedding dresses, cakes etc.

While it is important for any newly engaged person to gain access to important information about the wedding planning process, some of these websites provided stress and anxiety as much as they did excitement about the “Big Day.” Furthermore, while acknowledging that the first step in their processes might be to contact friends and to think about location, these other websites presented an overwhelming wealth of information (such as on decoration and wear) that might be more informative later on in a couple's wedding planning process after they have chosen the wedding location and venue.

The primary assumption we were testing for with our prototype was that we will be able to create an engaging, exciting an emotional experience that gets people fantasizing about their wedding through images, storytelling and high quality information. We chose to test for this because we believe that if we can engage and pull customers into the product in this way, we may be able to more successfully introduce rational planning, communication tools, and premium services once they move further down the engagement funnel. Through competitive analysis we also identified this emotional/aspirational experience as a means of differentiation in the market.

When shown the Great Engagements Prototype, the users were engaged with the mad-libs functionality and with the large, eye-catching images that create our demo website ( They understood right away that the website is about venue discovery and their initial emotional reactions were that of excitement and inspiration, very much the reactions we were looking for to validate our primary assumption. These results give us reason to further pursue our concepts of immersive, inspirational and aspirational exploration of venues that would ultimately lead customers to revenue-generating activities.”

Talk to one of our product experts about building success into your process.