Activity 7: User Feedback
Evaluation with users should happen iteratively throughout the development process, but at this stage, as the design is nearing completion, users should be brought in to give specific feedback on the ideas produced.
Once concepts have been developed into realistic solutions and other constraints such as materials and manufacturing have been addressed, final validation should take place. Realistic prototypes or mock-ups should be tested with a range of users to verify design solutions, record initial market reaction and fine tune details. Leave time within the overall process to make final adjustments to your design as a result of user feedback.
- Test onsite: Ask users to come to your office to test prototypes. They can do this individually or in focus groups. Capturing feedback will be easier, but you will not see the prototypes being used in a real context.
- Test offsite: People take away prototypes to test in a real context or over an extended period of time. This can give a more realistic picture, but can be more difficult to capture feedback.
- Research methods: Reuse the research methods you have applied earlier in the process but re-apply with new focus. You are not using them to capture insights but to evaluate concepts.
- Mass market: Test outside your lead user group to assess wider market appeal. Bring in a variety of mainstream users.
This activity will allow you to verify your design solutions and test the details, usability and features. It makes sure that user need is informing the design right up to the point at which it is ready for production. This will help to deliver a more market-ready, considered outcome. You will also pick up on early failings.