Optimizing Your Design For Rapid Prototyping Testing

Product teams in startups and mid-sized and large companies are all implementing usability testing and prototypingas a way to de-risk product development. As the focus shifts from engineering to prototyping, it is becoming increasingly important for anyone who creates prototypes to understand the differences between a prototype and a product build.

By optimizing the prototyping process, you can produce mockups that deliver the most actionable user insights, while being as efficient as possible with design time. Regardless of which prototype tools you use or whether you test wireframes, clickable mockups or coded prototypes, what’s most important to focus on is what you want to test and what you want to learn from it.

With that in mind, here are six tips for designers to consider when creating prototypes specifically to generate user testing insight.

Design To Test Specific Stimuli, With Few Variables At A Time Link

You need to ensure that you can make apple-to-apple comparisons with your test variants by removing any unnecessary differences between the variants. Make sure that whatever variable stimuli you want to test is primary in the visual hierarchy, so that users do not miss it.


Here are two design variants we created for a peer-to-peer payment app. We wanted to learn: “Would a rewards redemption feature increase a user’s perception of value?”

In variant A, basic features of the payment app are shown. In variant B, the same features in variant A are used but with one addition: a “Redeem” button, to indicate the rewards feature of the app. Both variants have the same basic layout, content and color palette, which nullifies design as a variable of the test.

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