Validating Design Ideas through Prototyping & User Research

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In most of user research practiced today, designers build click-through prototypes to get quick user feedback, which saves the product team a lot of time and money. The practice is extremely useful, but only during the infancy of a product.

After a few iterations the team has learnt all it could from a prototype and needs to build the real product with real data and interactions to learn more. Months of painstaking engineering goes into building this ‘real product’. When the product is finally out, the team realises that it was built on a shaky foundation of incomplete research. Many more months of work goes into fixing problems that could have been surfaced had the research been more sophisticated.

What if we could use a dash of engineering bandwidth to turn a prototype into real software which could be used to run quick and dirty design experiments? Could this experimental software with real interactions and data, actually facilitate more sophisticated research than a prototype? Could this software help the team gain new research insights every week, leaving no room for unpleasant surprises when the actual product is launched? In this talk, we answer all these questions using product design for “Simple” as a case study.