How did engaging with a real person, testing with a real person, change the direction your prototype took?

To some extent, Interaction Designers’ duty is solving problems, problems that users meet. A good designer does not only have good design skills but also the instinct about user’s feedback. Engaging with a real person, testing with a real person actually is the most important way for UI/UX designers to gain real experience. It can prevent you from investing too much efforts in a wrong direction.  The process of testing with real person can take time, but it totally worth it.

What was it like showing unfinished work to another person?

Showing an unfinished work to another person is like to attend a unprepared interview. It can be awkward but also make potential problems exposed. Explaining the idea/concept of the design is a crucial skill for designers; it is important to make sure that we set the right goal and the right problem to solve at the very beginning.

As a User, how did you interact with your partner’s level of lowly-resolved prototype; how did the level of resolution impact your experience as a user?

I have to say that I’m not a “good user” from designer’s perspective. During the process of listening her idea and testing her prototype, I’ve interupted for several times and tried to infuse my ideas into the product, which may make the product leave the way it was to be. But she is really patient and listen to my suggestions carefully, which makes me feel a sense of involvement.

Design thinking is an iterative, self-directed process. Based on what you learned, what would you go back and do next? What would you do over again?

I would like to go back to engage my clients into the prototype design process. I’ve spent too much time on designing the product myself and leave the clients aside. The result of this is that I need to spend a lot more time on revising the prototype to meet the needs of users. What I will do next is to cut the process of prototype design into small pieces(from the big wireframe to detail of each function), and get quick feedbacks from users for each part and try to ask their advices. With those quick feedbacks and advice, the product can be more accurate and users can be more satisfied with the final output, since they feel they are a co-designer of the product.

What principle, what tool would you infuse into the work tomorrow?

If let me do the process again, there are several things that I am going to improve: Don’t guess, and let the user speak. I did too much talking in the first time, trying to catch user’s feedback and needs based on my own subjective thinking. This turned out to be a really ineffective way to understand the user and added extra burries to my futher work (polishing and gathering prototypes). The strategy for the next time will be: a. let the user talk, recording everything she/he mentioned. b. produce a prototype based on my record, and put the user into the using context with a detailed prototype. C. gather the feedbacks and revise/improve prototypes.  I thought the a is the most important stage, But actually the road to a great product is the loop for b+c.

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