An introduction to evaluation
Evaluation is all about gathering feedback on your prototype to quickly identify aspects of the concept that may need to be changed.
A few things to keep in mind during evaluation:
- Sometimes you will discover that a concept is not going to work - and that's okay! If that happens you can take a step back and create a new prototype for one of your other most promising solutions.
- You may need to conduct several rounds of prototyping and evaluation before you land on a successful concept.
Tips for gathering feedback
To get feedback on a prototype, begin by giving the user an introduction to when and where they might encounter this product or service in the real world. For example you might say, “Imagine that you are riding the bus and using this new app on your phone."
When you introduce users to a prototype that has an interactive element, you may need to take a “magician” approach - meaning you will simulate interactivity by moving, removing, or adding elements to the prototype based on how the user interacts with it during your feedback session.
To see an example of how the magician approach works in a user feedback session, take a look at this video:
The DOORS principles that you used while conducting user research are also useful for gathering feedback on your prototypes.
As a reminder, the DOORS principles are:
D: Digging deeper
O: Open-ended questions
S: Stopping bias
Creating a discussion guide
As in your earlier user research, it can be beneficial to prepare a brief discussion guide with the questions you plan to cover during each session.
The following prompts can be good discussion starters when gathering feedback:
“What is your initial impression of this concept?”
“What is your reaction to the shape/size/functionality of this concept?”
“Could you see yourself using this concept in your own life? Why or why not?”
“What is most appealing about this concept? Why?”
“What is least appealing about this concept? Why?”
“How would you describe this concept to a friend?”
Be sure to document your findings through notes, photos, and audio or video if possible.
When you’re sitting across from a user and asking for their feedback on a concept you’ve developed, it can be difficult to avoid showing your emotions in response to their reactions.
But as a facilitator, it’s important you avoid emotionally responding to the user’s feedback (positively or negatively) and focus instead on understanding their point of view.
Keep in mind that users may be intimidated or nervous about giving you negative feedback on your concept. Because of this, when time and resources allow, it can be helpful to have a neutral person who wasn’t involved in creating the concept facilitate the feedback session.
Which of the following would be good questions include in a discussion guide for gathering feedback on your prototype?
- "What is most appealing to you about this concept, and why?"
- "You like this concept, right?"
- "What do you think of the physical size of this prototype?"
- "Could you see yourself using this concept in your own life? Why or why not?"
- "How would you describe this concept to a friend?"
- "Do you think I am a good designer?"