By Owen Fay . Posted on July 15, 2022

Prototyping can be one of the best ways to understand how your final product or concept will work. It is an experimental process where design teams adapt ideas into tangible forms from paper to digital.

Teams build prototypes of varying levels to understand design concepts and test them on users. The ultimate goal is to refine, validate, and perfect your designs so you can release the best product possible.

The problem is testing prototypes can be a long and expensive process, most testing methods take days or weeks to get results and the cost can be hard to justify for small to medium-sized design teams. There are a few different ways that any organization can make prototyping quicker and easier through unmoderated rapid user testing. This method enables design teams to create and iterate designs faster as well as use real user feedback to make changes and optimize designs.

In this blog, we’ll cover 5 of the easiest ways to make your prototyping process quicker, easier, and less expensive with Poll the People.

1. Prototype Testing with Poll the People

Our first tip for better prototyping is to use a remote, unmoderated user testing platform. A tool like Poll the People lets you test everything from a basic wireframe prototype to a high-fidelity prototype.

Poll the People user tests are completed in less than an hour, giving you more time to focus on the designs and make adjustments based on the user feedback. Additionally, the platform is less expensive than the alternatives, each response costs about $1.00, leaving more of your budget free for designing and prototyping.

Our user testing platform allows marketers and researchers to test just about any type of prototype, from websites and products to ads and logos, and everything in between.

With faster results and less expensive tests, Poll the People lets you focus on the designs while getting valuable user insights quicker and easier.

2. Test Multiple Levels of Prototypes

Testing various levels of prototypes is our second suggestion for more efficient prototyping. You can find usability issues and elements of your prototypes that need improvements by prototype testing at various design stages. You will produce better products if your design teams make use of a testing platform like Poll the People since you can test them at every level of the design process.

When design teams can test the most basic prototypes all the way through a ready-to-launch prototype they receive feedback on every part of the design. This allows them to be sure that the product is user-friendly, the use case is understood, identify any bugs or issues, and optimize the concept for the intended user.

Prototype testing at various stages of the design process will inform design decisions to meet user expectations and fulfill their needs, it will lead to better products resulting in satisfied users.

3. Identify the Focus of the Prototype Test

Design teams won’t obtain the answers they need if they are merely “testing to test,” and their testing approach will simply be a waste of time. For the creation of products based on research, prototype testing is crucial. It’s a technique to gather information about the current prototype and discover ways to improve it to best serve the needs of your users, whether that means adding elements to the design or removing confusing widgets.

A designer needs to identify a focus of the testing process at each stage. Figure out what you want to achieve with the test and stick with it!

  • Is the prototype’s purpose clear?
  • Which components of the prototype are you evaluating? Engagement? Preferences? Design?
  • How do you define the success of your prototype test?
  • What aspects of the design do you want feedback on?

All of these questions need to be answered to help define the goal of the testing process or the correct focus of the test. Most of the time you don’t need to prototype every part of the product, identify and test the most important features, concepts, or elements.

4. Collaboration

The fourth way to create more efficient prototyping is to work with your team and as a team. When the organization is working through the prototyping process, it needs to be a group effort to understand the effectiveness of your concepts.

  • You get product inputs from the PO (product owner) and BA (business analyst), such as the product vision, requirements, (test) objectives, etc.
  • The timetables and requirements are overseen by the PM (product manager).
  • UI (user interface) designers provide you with content and designs.
  • As a result, you may fully concentrate on prototyping, testing, and analyzing the test findings as the UX (user experience).

Especially when a prototype and research have to be delivered quickly, working as a team allows you to get more done in a shorter amount of time. It is more efficient, enjoyable, and helps eliminate individual bias in designing or testing.

To speed up the process, each team member should assist and work where they are most effective. But be sure to keep everyone informed about the design process and the tests that are conducted. Set up regular alignments among the team members and exercise caution when it comes to dependencies, transparency, and communication. Try to divide a large task into smaller ones if possible so that you can complete iterations more quickly while staying within time constraints.

5. Use the Test Results

The last and possibly most important tip is to use the feedback you get from prototype testing. If you are utilizing a tool like Poll the People that allows you to quickly and cost-effectively test your prototypes you need to use the user feedback to create a better product.

If you are testing and prototyping but failing to make changes based on user feedback, you are wasting your time and money. The insights you receive from testing can identify issues with designs, user pain points, and possibly give you new ways to improve the prototypes before they go live.

When you are using a tool that gives you valuable information on your design, failing to use that information and making decisions based on individual or team preferences essentially negates all of the benefits of testing your prototypes.

When you do ultimately run a test make sure to analyze all of the results, you wouldn’t want to miss a valuable insight. However, don’t let the users make all of the decisions, at the end of the day make changes that match the organization’s goals and objectives. User feedback is valuable and should be used to educate teams and validate decisions, not to create the entire product.

Conclusion

Throughout the whole lifecycle of the product, prototyping should be your go-to strategy for gaining insights into your target audience.

All things considered, creating and testing your prototype is just half the battle. You also need a quick and easy approach to make adjustments and give your users a better experience. The results of your prototype testing don’t always call for a total redesign or significant modifications; occasionally all that’s needed is streamlined instruction.

The first step to success is selecting the appropriate tool for prototyping and prototype testing. Poll the People has you covered whether you want to test a simple wireframe or a high-fidelity website design. Even if you have no prior testing knowledge, you can still use our tool to test a prototype, with a built-in template gallery, dedicated user panel, and easy-to-understand results dashboard, testing is easier than ever.

Poll the People is an excellent platform for testing your new experiences on your target audience, it enables firms to practice agile through quick and low-cost prototype testing. If you want to see how a prototype test is done and the results head here, if you’re ready to make a better product that meets user needs and expectations, sign up and get testing in minutes!

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