To help designers learn how to create a scenario that enables them to get authentic feedback on a prototype
Varies depending on scenario and prototype being tested
Small Groups 2-5
What are Testing Scenarios?
Testing scenarios are set up to mimic real world testing. The designer creates a scenario that represents a situation in which they envision their idea being used. By observing how their prototype works in the scenario they are able to get a clear idea of how it will most likely interact in a real world setting. Testing scenarios are also a valuable tool for testing a single variable. Designers can create a scenario that tests only one variable such as shape or functionality without worrying about the others.
Why use Testing Scenarios?
The skill of creating good testing scenarios is valuable because it
ensures that designers will be able to get effective, authentic feedback
from their prototype testing. Testing scenarios are useful in two settings. First, if the designer does not have access to a real world testing situation, it allows them to get a close approximation and therefore an authentic assessment. Second, if the designer is seeking to test a single variable it is useful to create a scenario that tests only that variable.
How to teach Testing Scenarios?
As with most design thinking concepts we recommend teaching Testing scenarios through experience. The process of designing the scenario is one of the most crucial parts. When guiding students to design a scenario a combination of some of the following questions can be helpful:
- What makes your user group unique?
- Which variable(s) do you want to test?
- What does the extreme user look like?
- Which setting will be most valuable to see your prototype at work?
From the answers to these and other questions the designer can begin to get a good idea of what their testing scenario needs to look like.
A prototype, camera/recorder/notebook for recording
Students should have a
well-developed prototype, students should also be exposed to a wide
variety of design strategies to effectively design their
This lesson works best if it
is treated more as a mentorship relationship between teacher and
students. Teachers can use the questions below to guide students through
the following steps:Site Creation:
Who needs to be there?
What does the space need
to be like?
Time of day/ specific weather needed for
Length of time for testing?Feedback/recording findings:
How will you
How will you record feedback?
will you record results?Test:
will you run the test?
What materials will you need?
Who needs to be there? (from your team/experts etc...)
Other logistics to think about?Share Findings:
How well did your test work?
you change anything about the test if you had a chance to do it again?
What feedback did you get?
How will you move
forward with your idea?
What advice do you have for others?
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