To help designers create a prototype that tests a single or few aspects of a given idea.
20 - 30 min
Small group 2-5
What is Identify a Variable?
Identifying a variable is a way to focus a prototype to address one aspect of an idea. Before beginning the process of building a prototype teams decide on a sing aspect of their idea to test. This makes understanding feedback much easier because if the user likes or dislikes a prototype it is clear what it is that they like or dislike.
Why identify a variable?
Identifying a variable to test with each prototype focuses the feedback you’ll get from sharing and testing it. Present a user with a palette of 6 options, each varying in one property, and you’ll easily be able to draw a conclusion from your testing. It takes some guesswork out of your process.
Incorporating too many variables into one prototype can water down the feedback you’ll get from your users – what was it were they responding to? You might never find out. Worse, you might guess - maybe incorrectly!
How to identify a variable? Prototype with a purpose; think about what you are
trying to learn by making a prototype. Identify one variable to flesh out and test with each prototype you
build. Bring resolution to that
aspect of the prototype. Remember
a prototype doesn’t have be, or even look like the solution idea. You might want to know how heavy a
device should be. You can create
prototypes of varied weight, without making each one operable. In another example, you may want to
find out if users prefer getting delivery or picking up themselves – you may
not even need to put anything in the box to test this.
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original text: Carly Geehr