Early Concept Prototyping for UX Teams

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  • EARLY CONCEPT PROTOTYPING

    Marti Gold Managing Director of

    User Experience

    November 14, 2014

  • What isEARLY CONCEPT PROTOTYPING?

  • Low-fidelity representations to more clearly define a products features and function

    early in the design process.

  • Commonly Known Benefits

    Static images cannot communicate interactions. Only prototypes can bring an early concept to life.

    Changes to prototypes areFAR less costly, in both time and resources, than even the smallest changes after development is underway.

  • More Benefits

    Clickable prototypes are an invaluable reference for developers, particularly osite teams.

    Prototypes ensure a common vision of the product across the entire organization.

  • Two Other Not So Commonly Known

    Benefits

  • Prototypes createEXCITEMENTwithin any organization

  • A prototype will save 1,000 emails

  • Removing The Myths

    Testing early prototypes does NOT require expensive labs. Company cafeterias or local coee shops work fine.

    Tests do NOT require weeks to set up. Clickable prototypes can now be built, and tests completed, in a single day.

  • More Myths.

    It does NOT require a lot of test subjects.3-4 participants are usually sucient

    to find the biggest issues.

  • Even More Myths

    Developers are not required. There are many easy-to-use, inexpensive tools both desktop and

    cloud-based that non-Developers can use.

  • How Prototyping Changes Traditional Development Workflows

  • Without prototyping

    The Business team identifies a need

    They prepare executive presentations

    The app or site moves forward only after funding is approved.

  • Tick tock, tick tock..

    The application may be in late alpha stage, before it finally goes to user testing.

    Depending on the results of those user tests, the app is either

    Sent back up the funnel for revisions, OR

    Released as is with the intention of fixing minor issues via future updates.

  • This process is unavoidably

    Company-Centric

    The company builds products the company wants, and then hopes the User will like them.

  • With Prototyping, the Flow is Dierent

    An unfilled/underfilled market need is identified.

    A small proof-of-concept team is assembled to gather core requirements and define the products goals.

    Early concept prototyping and testing starts almost immediately.

  • Features and interactions are rapidly refined by user feedback.

    Each iterations prototypes increase in fidelity.

  • The Go or NO Go Decision

    When prototype confidence (negative or positive) reaches a certain level either

    The idea is submitted for executive funding OR

    The idea is abandoned.

  • Funding Decisions: Powerpoints vs Prototypes

    Which do you think will give your executivesmore confidence in product funding decisions?

  • Once funded

    The larger cross-departmental product team is assembled

    Iterations and testing continue with increasing prototype fidelity.

    Back-end/services development work which is not dependent upon the UI can be started, further reducing time to market.

    Eventually, we arrive at a launch-approved prototype which simulates final interactions, visuals and features as closely as possible.

    Prototype and documentation go to final coding.

  • Tonic3s Prototyping Workflow

  • Prototyping processes are inherently

    User-Centric

    The company builds products the User wants, and can be confident the User will like them.

  • Tips to successfully adopt early concept prototyping

    Making perceived hurdles disappear

  • 3 people. 3 weeks. 1 room.

    1 Business1 UX 1 Developer

    Give them free-rein

    Uninterrupted blocks of time

    A project room to work together

    Prototyping tools/software

    Easy access to users (usertesting.com, etc.)

  • Encourage Free Exploration

    ENCOURAGE your product teams to embrace early concept prototyping to explore many ideas.

    ASK for even more iterations when something looks promising. Ideas trigger more ideas.

    FUND the truly brilliant and game-changing

  • Dont marry early visions

    Early concept prototypes WILL uncover many unexpected things

    Logic flaws

    Critical features that were overlooked

    Remind everyone NOT to become emotionally attached to an early vision. They could overlook large gaps.

  • Stay focused on the basics

    Early concept prototypes are meant to confirm the products viability and overall direction.

    Secondary features can incorporated, debated, and tested after funding

  • Build all early prototypes as white labels

    Eliminates brand bias.

    Minimizes the need for legal and security reviews

    Ensures early ideas are not accidentally divulged to competitors during feedback phases.

  • About now, the Product Managers in the

    audience will look like this

  • But here are thePROJECT Managers

  • Talking Project Managers O the Ledge

    Eectively implementing early-concept prototyping may (read will) require adjustments to existing workflow processes and process tracking tools.

    It will be messy at the beginning.

    But you MUST keep telling the project managers THIS IS OKAY.

  • So, what is the best way foryour organization to implement

    early concept prototyping?

  • In the truespirit ofprototyping,

    just START. And get feedback And then refine And get feedback again.

  • Thank you.