Exploring prototype testing methods
Learn about the different user testing methods you can use to test your prototypes, including in-person vs remote testing, moderated vs unmoderated testing, and qualitative vs quantitative approaches.
What user testing methods can you use to test your prototypes?
Below is a summary of different user testing methods you can use to test your prototypes.
In-person vs remote user testing
If you’re running an in-person prototype test, you’ll be in the room with the participant. This gives you more control over the testing environment than you would have in a remote setting. You can also gain first-hand observations, for example, the user’s facial expressions and body language.
On the flip side, in-person testing usually involves a participant recruitment process, which has cost and time implications.
If you work as a remote UX designer or UX researcher, it might make more sense to run a remote and virtual prototype test. You won’t be able to control the testing environment, but participants might feel more comfortable in their own space and using their own devices.
Moderated vs unmoderated user testing
A moderated prototype test involves a moderator conducting and overseeing the test. As the moderator, you’ll brief the participant on the task and may also ask them follow-up questions to gain qualitative insights.
Moderated tests are usually run in-person, but can be conducted remotely via video calls. You can record these sessions to refer to later. Depending on the tool you’re using, you can also use screen capture to track and highlight where a user clicks on your prototype.
Unmoderated tests are less structured and can be conducted using a tool like Lyssna. You can run tests with your own participants or using a participant recruitment panel, allowing you to gain feedback quickly and easily.
This can be a good option when you’re short on time and budget, or want to test with a wide group of users. Most tools also allow you to ask questions to gather qualitative data.
Qualitative vs quantitative user testing
Qualitative research helps us understand why something is happening. We can use it to figure out what product or features to build, and whether to build something in a certain way. We can also use qualitative research when we want to innovate or improve a product or service.
With prototype testing, this could mean using qualitative research to gather insights about a user’s challenges, thoughts, or feelings about your product.
Quantitative research helps us understand what’s happening at a point in time. This can also influence potential gains or losses when developing a product or feature. With prototype testing, we might use quantitative research to gather data on user journey completion rates, clicks from A/B testing, and click clusters in first-click tests.