When the tools of our trade have a negative impact on our testing, how do we adapt to give our participants a more realistic experience? And how do we gain better insight for our stakeholders?
Is there a better way we could be doing this? Sure, we can ensure we use familiar video-conferencing software with our participants. But what about the prototypes we test?
Ain’t nothing like the real thing
Recently I was fortunate enough to work with James, Katie and Trys on the Malvern Panalytical design system project. The design challenge and team configuration meant that our respective disciplines had context through the entire project.
Testing this way had a number of advantages:
- Avoiding the numerous interaction shortcomings of prototyping software.
- Delivering a realistic and adaptable end-experience for our participants regardless of device and operating system.
- Showcasing the benefits of responsive design to the client.
- Demonstrating the value of the design system we were building by using it for rapid prototyping.
- Making minor content adjustments to the prototype in real-time.
These advantages resulted in a more efficient test, more constructive conversations with our participants and more valuable insights for our client.
My highlight was when a participant clicked a download link and the browser’s native dialogue box appeared. It’s that level of detail that encourages the suspension of disbelief for a participant.
Go your own way
This approach isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution by any means. We need to select the right tool for the job. In our case, selecting Figma, or a similar prototyping tool, would have incurred a lot of overhead and offered less value to the client.
One thing is clear though. Closing the gap between the design and development process has shown great value in the work we do at Clearleft. If this kind of work excites you, come and work for us as a Design Engineer.
This was originally published on my own site.