My learnings on how to conduct a usability testing with prototypes

Daniel T
Daniel T
Jan 31 · 5 min read

How did I end up with this design? I went through the user design process to identify the pain points from the early stage designs by testing a prototype. Saves heaps off development time and validates your design lead thinking.

Over the last couple of months I have been working on a project for work where we are up to the 2nd iteration of the design. We are looking to relaunch the platform which helps people to lodge their tax return online anywhere, anytime.

It’s been a very interesting journey and a lot of learnings and have found myself conducting the usability testing myself instead of outsourcing this to our digital agency.

I’m not going to name my users here but will share with you their persona’s

Persona 1

Male aged 23, lives in Elizabeth Bay and is Australian by background. Gilbert current works as an Art Director for small boutique agency. He began using the firm last year with our retail office in Paddington.

His mum has been using this for many years whereas he used to use the government platform a couple of years back. His return has been more complexed so he is not able to do this himself.

He finds that the tax process is very challenging and too much to understand as he can’t wrap his head around the terminology.

Persona 2

Female aged 56, lives in Ryde and is an Italian/Australian. She is currently unemployed but her profession is an office administrator. She has heard about the firm through adverts on TV but has never used any of our services.

She doesn’t like doing her own tax and prefers for someone else to help her because it’s very confusing and doesn’t like tax. She currently has her own Tax accountant where she has been with them for more than 3 years.

She doesn’t or has ever considered moving tax accountants as she does her Tax with her husband.

Persona 3

Male aged 33, lives in Newtown and is a Vietnamese/Australian. He is a digital marketer by profession. He has come across the firm periodically when his Tax is coming up but has never used our services before.

He has been with his accountant for 10 years as his accountant has the ability to find him savings year after year. It’s a simple process where he provides them with the spreadsheet and associated receipts. They ask a few questions to help him maximise his returns as he owns investment properties and has had no issues since being with the accountant.

He is willing to move but the new provider needs to have a compelling value proposition and ease of use if it’s an online platform. If he did move, they need to make or provide him with a seamless transition to the new provider.

Persona 4

Female aged 44 and lives in Forestville. She is Australian/Chinese and works as a Marketing Campaign Manager. Her mum currently uses the firm so she has known the brand through her mum but has never used our services before.

She prefers her accountant to manage everything for her and has been with her accountant for 10 years. Each year her accountants does everything for her whereby she doesn’t even need to come see him in the office.

It’s done through a short call to confirm her current situation. Her accountant has all her details and she mostly doesn’t have to provide anything to the account as the accountant has all the details.

User Journey

Based on the 40+ test cases which I created based on the designs, I interviewed and asked the participants to use the designs, at the same time they would walk me through what they are thinking and feeling when they saw each design or page.

With that information, I was able to come up with the revised user journey which I put together below. The journey shows the current features and the proposed features for each step.

The IA and process flow

The next step was to think about how we can revise the existing IA for the pages I had. Below shows the revised IA which I came up with and a new flow for new and existing clients.

Create an account design iteration

The first iteration was the account creation and login form which will include the feature to allow users to sign in with social accounts using Facebook or Google. I wanted to also make the experience with password creations as simple as possible where we will add in password validations which will guide the user when meeting the criteria’s.

The last iteration here is to add in some content next to the create an account form to allow users to understand what they should have available before creating the account, for example ID documents etc.

Pop-up modal iIteration

An iteration which I made to the on-boarding process is to reduce the number of screens whereby the user will need to select which channel they want to communicate with the firm during the process of the interaction between client and consultant. Simplifying it from 3 screens to 1.


I want to share with you the rest of the work but as its not live yet, this is the most I can share about the process that I went through to end up with a better experience for the users this year.

The biggest learning that I had which I talk about in the video above is to make sure you have all the designs for every interaction for the testing of the prototype. I had parts of the test where the user was awkwardly stuck but luckily at that time I was able to improvise and ask backup questions so that I can move then through the journey.

Daniel T

Written by

Daniel T

Creativity, positivity & persistence. UX/UI designer