Ex 5. Five users

Testing does not need to be difficult. Give yourself an acheivable goal of getting your prototype in front of 5 users.

Of course, if you learn there is a fundamental issue with your prototype after speaking to 1 user, update the prototype before speaking to your next user. You are not looking to be able to verify that 100 people feel the same about your prototype – this is not about scientific evidence. Rather, you are looking to rapidly understand whether your proposed solution will work with real people.

3 minutes to find users

In order to run your prototype tests, you need users that have some similarities to your user group. Those similarities will change depending on what you are prototyping, for instance:

  • If you are prototyping a technical or online feature, ensure your testers have a similar level of technical knowledge as your target users.

  • If you are testing written copy, ensure that your test users have a similar level of written comprehension and potentially come from a similar demographic. This is especially true when thinking about how the feel of your service connects with a community of say teenagers.

Take 3 minutes to write down how you might be able to find 5 users who would be willing to test your prototype for you. Think about:

  • How you would reach out to them? Do you know them already and can send them a personal message? Or, are they a group of people you would like to work with but will needed to be connected to?

  • If you are going to reach out to a group of users that you do not personally know, do you know of any partners or people who can introduce and connect you?

  • Will your users need an incentive to give up their time to take part in a test? This is not always necessary, depending on the user group and what you are testing. If it is, gift cards are easy incentives to distribute and offer up. For longer prototype tests, such as focus groups provide, at the very least, some drinks/snacks or perhaps pizza or food of some kind.

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