Re: Prototyping

27 Oct 2003 - 1:11pm
11 years ago
2 replies
695 reads
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

Dan wrote:

>Interesting. How then does IBM's UCD model deal with the testing of sites
>that are currently fully-functional? Does it assume that people criticize
>it less because it is more "done"?

I think the principle at work here is that you need to implement and test a
prototype that is relevant to the type of feedback that you want to elicit.

In her book "Paper Prototyping", Carolyn Snyder classifies prototypes along
four dimensions (that are not mutually exclusive): Breadth, Depth, Look, and
Interaction:

- The breadth of a prototype denotes the amount of coverage of the final
feature- or content-set of the product that is represented in the prototype.
Broad prototypes attempt to cover everything; narrow prototypes only attempt
to cover a subset.

-The depth of a prototype denotes the amount of coverage within each
feature. Shallow prototypes only have sketchy details for each feature; deep
prototypes exhaustively prototype each feature.

-The look of a prototype denotes how close the visual treatment is to the
intended final product. Thinks sketches vs. fully polished UI.

-The interaction of a prototype denotes how close the interactions are to
the intended final product. This ranges from no interaction ('here's a
picture; whaddya think?) to simulated interaction (classic paper
prototyping) and on into the types of interaction afforded by various
prototyping tools.

After this long preamble, the point that is (quite correclty) being made is
that you will generally get feedback commensurate with where your prototype
is at each of these levels. In practice, this means that you will get more
high-level design feedback on a broad and shallow prototype than you would
on a broad and deep prototype. Test participants may percieve a prototype
with a fully honed look and set of interactions to be mostly complete and so
may focus their attention on the fine points of the design. If you've
already decided on your high level approach, this is entirely appropriate.

I hope that makes sense; if not, I will clarify.

Regards,
-Gerard

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Comments

27 Oct 2003 - 11:58am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Monday, October 27, 2003, at 10:59 AM, chesh_at_home wrote:
>
> my experience with user testing (and a major tenant of the UCD
> model used by IBM) is that higher fidelity prototypes are
> significantly less likely to get
> negative feedback from users. The more time users think was invested
> in the creation
> of the prototype - especially if they think it was by the person
> testing them - the
> more trouble they have with criticisms.

Interesting. How then does IBM's UCD model deal with the testing of
sites that are currently fully-functional? Does it assume that people
criticize it less because it is more "done"?

Dan

27 Oct 2003 - 12:30pm
Narey, Kevin
2004

I currently employ IBM UCD work products and haven't come across this
problem (as mentioned by chesh_at_home).
I'm assuming that you're talking about 'End Users' as your test subjects and
that you are testing a web-based UI.

I often set an appropriate contextual expectation for the test subject to
reduce the chance that they could focus on the quality as well as other
possible environmental distractions.

Giving the test subject a well considered set of instructions (verbal) seems
a little contrived, but has produced good levels of 'workable' feedback in
the past.

In answer to Dan's query;
IMO the IBM UCD model generally aids the building of apps from scratch
rather than support for existing applications.

KN

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Saffer [mailto:dan at odannyboy.com]
Sent: 27 October 2003 17:58
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] Re: Prototyping

On Monday, October 27, 2003, at 10:59 AM, chesh_at_home wrote:
>
> my experience with user testing (and a major tenant of the UCD
> model used by IBM) is that higher fidelity prototypes are
> significantly less likely to get
> negative feedback from users. The more time users think was invested
> in the creation
> of the prototype - especially if they think it was by the person
> testing them - the
> more trouble they have with criticisms.

Interesting. How then does IBM's UCD model deal with the testing of
sites that are currently fully-functional? Does it assume that people
criticize it less because it is more "done"?

Dan

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