How to Create a Website Prototype

After designing your prototype, your testing should be as diverse as possible. You should ensure that your new product testing is done by a diverse group of audiences in a range of different environments. This will allow you to know which environments work in favor of your product and which ones don’t. You need to make sure that the end-users should consist of people using your product once it’s launched.

website prototype testing

No matter what stage you’re in, there are ways to create a prototype you can test. You can start with just a sketch on a post-it, or use one of the many prototyping prototype of website tools available to bring your idea to life. Once you have your prototype ready, make sure you’re asking yourself these questions as you begin—and continue to—test.

Remember to touch upon the impact of the product – what it helped the client achieve. An expert review is where a usability expert uses his/her knowledge and experience of testing websites with users to walk through a website in the shoes of a typical user. The expert will spot problems and recommend changes to improve usability when budgets and timescales don’t allow for user research. Wireframing is a way to design a website service at the structural level. A wireframe is commonly used to lay out content and functionality on a page which takes into account user needs and user journeys. Wireframes are used early in the development process to establish the basic structure of a page before visual design and content is added.

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I would like to know if the users would be able to perform a certain task. Your testing goals are extremely important, and they can help you develop testing scenarios, questionnaires, and the overall prototype testing method. The type of prototype you have will define how your users interact with it.

website prototype testing

This online test only displays the navigation links and removes any additional clutter. Ethnography is a study through direct observation of users in their natural environment rather than in a lab. The objective of this type of research is to gain insights into how users interact with things in their natural environment. These are more scalable and also helpful with remote tests with users in different time zones. Unmoderated tests will allow you to gain a lot of insights while saving crucial time. Try to figure out which usability problems are critical for the user.

MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) in UX Design

Go through the results and compare the variants based on success rate, lostness and other metrics you deem important. You are able to test only one task per variant using this method. If you want to test multiple flows at once, you will need as many studies as you have variants.

Usability testing is about giving users a specific task to perform that’s linked to the problem your product or website is aiming to solve. They’re typically brief but still give your test participants some context. Fixing a product while still in the testing phase is a much simpler and easier way of proceeding with the launch. Because once you launch the product, you’ll need a lot of time and money to roll back the launch and the changes. You can deploy a prototype in the field for people to use your product before finally launching it to ensure that you offer the best quality.

Prototype testing is a lot more than just an approach to validate your design decisions. When you form a habit of testing your design decisions, you help you make more data-informed design decisions. When you present your prototypes to your users, refrain from trying to sell your idea. Remember that prototyping and testing are about finding ways to improve your idea, and selling your idea can be detrimental to that goal.

When designing a product, you should always be mindful of the audience using your product. Keeping in mind the demographics of your target audience will allow you to design your product in a way that is preferred by your audience. You can conduct prototype testing in several ways, but we have compiled a list of best practices that you should always keep in mind while conducting your prototype tests. I want to check which version of the prototype seems easier for users when it comes to finding a specific product on it.

How to write plain language for a better user experience

If they think you are the one who developed the prototype they will refrain from critical remarks to not hurt your feelings. If this is a face-to-face study, don’t defend the prototype and design solutions in it. Be neutral and try to avoid emotionally loaded words whenever you are describing the prototype or its elements.

website prototype testing

You should be particularly careful when conducting the study in the European Union, where GDPR would apply. Developing accurate buyer personas also proves to be important at this stage. By doing so, you will be able to help your team develop a shared understanding of the targeted buyers and predict their behavioral patterns accurately. Be realistic about how much you can fix before the next round of testing or before handing in your designs to the dev team.

When the prototype is complete, it’s time to show it to your target audience. Try to choose participants who are a good representation of your intended audience. You can find out what works and what needs to be changed by seeing how users engage with your prototype and hearing their comments. You can iterate and develop a better product using the information you’ve obtained. “I Like, I Wish, What If” method allows test participants to share their feedback in a critical but positive manner. In “I Like…” statements, the test participant is encouraged to state what s/he likes about the prototype.

Website and web app prototyping has never been faster

A user journey is a path a user may take to reach their goal when using a particular website. User journeys are used in designing websites to identify the different ways to enable the user to achieve their goal as quickly and easily as possible. Card sorting is a technique that involves asking users to organise information into logical groups.

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In “I Wish…” statements, users are prompted to share ideas of how the prototype can be improved. Lastly, in “What If…” statements, the user can share his/her suggestions about the overall design. The insights you gather by using this simple technique can be used in the future states of your prototype.

Test Your Prototypes With Confidence

Create digital prototypes that resemble the product – Once you’ve created a preliminary design, you can create an interactive and digital high-fidelity prototype that resembles the final product closely. This would allow more testing and make it easier for the users to understand. The prototype built in this stage is derived entirely from the information that the developers gather in the previous stage while building a preliminary prototype.

  • Ethnography is a study through direct observation of users in their natural environment rather than in a lab.
  • The recorder is responsible for recording notes, quotes, and any observations.
  • Still, developers always keep note of how the users would interact and perceive the product is equally important.
  • When designing products, communicating your vision to your team is critical.
  • Developing accurate buyer personas also proves to be important at this stage.

These types of prototypes are mostly paper-based and also do not allow any user interaction. Any hand-drawn sketch or a mockup on a sheet of paper is a low-fidelity prototype. Knowing how a product would behave in the market is a crucial component of prototype testing. Still, developers always keep note of how the users would interact and perceive the product is equally important. Although prototype testing may sound difficult, using the appropriate tools enables you to avoid some severe usability issues.

When Should You Test Your Prototype?

You can launch a beta-testing campaign to invite people to join the website, send the prototype to clients, in exchange for discounts and special offers, or gather a focus group within your team. Figuring out how to gather user reviews is a way to ensure your prototype will bring along as many insights as possible. Usability testing is a way to see how easy to use something is by testing it with real users.

But there are a variety of specialist prototyping tools available on the market that are specifically designed to make prototyping easy. Check out Blasamiq, Axure and Mockingbird for just a few examples. A successful prototype testing requires a good feedback tool, and this is where a feedback tool like Qualaroo can help your development team get actionable insights and uncover what your audience thinks. The primary aim of initial user evaluation is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the prototype design. The only way to effectively do it is by having multiple people give their unique perspectives by responding to the prototype testing questions.

Redesigning a prototype is a lot easier than reworking a finished product. Whenever you have an idea of how to make the user experience better, you should create a prototype and test it with your users. The best way to think about prototypes is that they’re a representation of a finished product. Prototypes are a way for designers and developers to test the flow, interaction, content, and general feasibility and usability of a product before building and designing a fully-functioning product.

Import from Design tools

The most important yet most obvious step is to build a prototype of the product that is to be tested. The type of prototype you would be building depends entirely on what you need to test and at what stage of product development you are currently at. By testing the prototypes, developers can conduct several different feature iterations and benchmark the resulting performance. This way, they can establish which function generates the best response from the users based on numbers. On the other hand, high-fidelity prototypes are highly interactive and functional, and they are as close as they can get to the final product.

Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Start by fixing these three common pitfalls that can be dragging you down. Moderated tests involve a person facilitating the test through a moderator, and unmoderated tests do not have any such moderators.