Software should be both useful and usable.
Easy to say, hard to achieve, but with the right KPIs in place it is the thing you can optimize for and keep improving.
When should you start validating? In the idea phase of course. Best way to validate your idea is to create a quick prototype and put it into user hands. There is no such thing like the excitement when you realize that the idea you have invested all of your time results in no interest within your target group. :)
Great thing about this is that you can find this out early on and keep iterating until you hit the right spot.
So then what is the point of validation in the prototype phase? To get to a design solution faster through testing hypothesis. It’s all about creating as many ideas as possible, then testing those with real users.
How to start?
This is the mostly skipped phase which is crucial in order to understand properly why one is building the app and what problems users actually have instead of relying on your own assumptions. Assumptions are great and they should be built in wireframes, but keep in mind the purpose of this exercise is to validate them!
What you should do?
Gather the group of your target users and start doing interviews, observe their daily jobs and understand pains do surveys.
When you gathered all of the above it is time to organize what you have learned in a meaningful ways. The previous phase should give you enough information to assemble user personas and scenarios.
This phase should give you a clean overview of persons goals and what scenarios they are using to get to them. It will help you understand and relate with them and try to create a better way and easier way for them to solve their needs.
Now there is nothing stopping you from putting your “problem solving” hat and get your hands dirty.
Start with low fidelity wireframes and sketches. Get them in front of the users and iterate until you are confident that you solved the problem that they have and then you can move to high fidelity prototype.
If your users are satisfied what they see you can move to the development phase. Again be smart here:
quick iterations, focus on doing one thing right (not many things wrong), deliver, test, validate deliver
Measure behavior, not opinions. Prepare a high level set of tasks for users and measure how efficient is your solution in helping them resolve them.
Providing good user experience is ongoing process. Learn and improve repeatedly
Tools to help you
We do a lot of these and we used a lot of tools. One of the best of them is pen and paper, but as you move and need to get in front of many faces it requires more. There are great tools out there which may help you. To name a few: InVision, MarvelApp, ProtoIO, JustInMind.
We tried and used many of them, but there were some needs that were not solved, so we decided to help ourselves and we hope that this will come useful to you as well.
- Are you a UX engineer/Product Owner/Designer working on creating multiple mobile prototypes and mockups?
- Did you feel the pain of lack of interactivity on the prototype?
- Did you feel the pain of not getting information how your target group is using the app when you share it? Did you feel the pain that when you needed to change small piece on the menu you had to export 30 screens again?
- You wanted to share the link with your test group and get insights as you were sitting next to them?
- You need aggregated reports from the usability study?
- Heatmaps and complete replays of user behavior?
- Task oriented prototyping tool?
Now you can achieve all of this easily. Sign Up and be among the first ones to use our tool - Koncept prototyping and usability testing