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Develop a prototype or make changes to your website or service

Review reusable tools

This activity is for service planners who are focused on a digital solution. It can help move ideas by looking at real examples of some of the ‘off the shelf’ or ‘no-code’ tools available. Identifying a relevant tool can help shape how you might prototype your idea.

⏱ Suggested time = 1-2 hours
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Activity worksheet

Review reusable tools

Tips to complete activity

General Considerations

  • Purpose and Fit:
    - Question: Does the tool align with the specific needs and objectives of my project or task?
    - Tip: Clearly define your requirements and compare them with the tool's features to ensure a good fit.
  • User Interface and Experience:
    - Question: Is the user interface intuitive and user-friendly?
    - Tip: Consider the tool's ease of use and the learning curve for your team members. A tool that is easy to navigate can enhance productivity.
  • Integration Capabilities:
    - Question: Does the tool integrate well with other tools or platforms my team already uses?
    - Tip: Check for integration options with your existing software ecosystem to ensure seamless workflow.
  • Scalability:
    - Question: Can the tool scale as your team or project grows?
    - Tip: Evaluate the tool's scalability to ensure it can accommodate increasing data, users, or project complexity.

Functionality and Features

  • Key Features:
    - Question: Does the tool provide the essential features required for your tasks?
    - Tip: List your must-have features and verify that the tool includes them. Additional features are a bonus but not always necessary.
  • Customization Options:
    - Question: How customizable is the tool to adapt to your specific workflow or preferences?
    - Tip: Look for tools that allow customization to match your unique processes and preferences.
  • Mobile Accessibility:
    - Question: Does the tool offer mobile access, and if so, how user-friendly is the mobile interface?
    - Tip: Assess the mobile compatibility of the tool, especially if remote or on-the-go access is crucial for your team.

Support and Security

  • Customer Support:
    - Question: What level of customer support is provided, and is it sufficient for your needs?
    - Tip: Check for available support channels, response times, and the quality of customer support services.
  • Security Measures:
    - Question: How does the tool ensure the security and privacy of your data?
    - Tip: Review the tool's security features, encryption methods, and compliance with relevant data protection regulations.

Cost and Value

  • Cost Structure:
    - Question: What is the cost structure, and does it fit within your budget constraints?
    - Tip: Consider both upfront costs and ongoing subscription fees. Evaluate the value the tool brings relative to its cost.
  • Free Trial or Demo:
    - Question: Does the tool offer a free trial or demo period?
    - Tip: Take advantage of trial periods to test the tool's functionality and suitability for your needs before making a commitment.

By considering these questions, you can conduct a thorough review of online tools and make informed decisions based on your specific requirements and preferences.

Further reading

Prototype your solution

The activity of prototyping is invaluable, providing a tangible representation of abstract ideas and serving as a dynamic tool for testing and refining concepts. Prototypes accelerate the iteration cycle, allowing stakeholders to interact with a representative model and uncover potential flaws or improvements early in the design process.

⏱ Suggested time =  This will depend on the complexity of your prototype method

Tips to complete activity

  • Define Your Purpose and Scope
    Clearly define the purpose of your prototype and its intended scope. Are you testing a specific user interaction, exploring the overall user flow, or evaluating visual design elements? Understanding your goals will guide the choice of the most appropriate prototype method.
  • Consider Fidelity Levels
    Evaluate the level of fidelity needed for your prototype. Low-fidelity prototypes, such as paper sketches or wireframes, are ideal for early ideation and concept testing. High-fidelity prototypes, created with design tools or code, are better suited for testing detailed interactions and visual aesthetics.
  • Understand Your Audience
    Consider who will be interacting with the prototype. Stakeholders, developers, and end-users may have different needs and preferences. Tailor the prototype method to effectively communicate and gather feedback from the specific audience.
  • Iterate Based on Feedback
    Plan for an iterative approach. After gathering feedback from initial prototypes, be prepared to refine and iterate. This ensures that your prototype evolves in response to insights gained during testing.

Common Prototyping Methods

  • Paper Prototyping
    For early ideation and quick concept testing, consider paper prototyping. Sketch key screens and interactions on paper, allowing for rapid iterations and easy modifications during collaborative sessions.
  • Wireframing
    Use wireframes to create low-fidelity representations of your design. Tools like Balsamiq or Sketch are suitable for wireframing, providing a balance between simplicity and clarity for testing user flows and layouts.
  • Interactive Mockups
    Design interactive mockups using tools like Adobe XD, Figma, or InVision. This methodis effective for testing user interactions and navigation within a more polished representation of the final product.
  • Clickable Prototypes
    Develop clickable prototypes using prototyping tools like Marvel. This method allows for more sophisticated interactions and a closer simulation of the final user experience, suitable for advanced usability testing.

Further reading

Gather user feedback

The activity of gathering user feedback serves to check to what extent a solution meets the needs of the target audience. This stage ensures that the resulting design addresses real user challenges, enhances usability, and aligns with the intended audience's expectations, ultimately leading to more successful and user-friendly products or experiences.

⏱ Suggested time = 2+ hours
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Activity worksheet

Gather user feedback

Tips to complete activity

If you have developed a prototype you’ll now want to test its usability. Here are the top 6 tips for effective usability testing:

  • Define Clear Objectives
    Clearly outline the goals and objectives of your usability testing. Determine specific aspects of the product or design you want to evaluate, ensuring a focused and purposeful testing process.
  • Recruit Representative Participants
    Select participants who accurately represent your target user demographic. Diversity in participant backgrounds and familiarity with your product ensures a more comprehensive understanding of usability across user segments.
  • Encourage Thinking Aloud
    Instruct participants to verbalise their thoughts and feelings as they navigate through tasks. This "think-aloud" approach provides valuable insights into users' decision-making processes, enhancing your understanding of their expectations and challenges.
  • Collect both Qualitative and Quantitative Data
    Combine qualitative insights with quantitative metrics such as completion rates, task success, and time spent. This dual approach ensures a well-rounded assessment of usability, enabling a deeper understanding of user interactions.
  • Iterate and Refine
    Use findings from usability testing to iteratively refine your design. Identify patterns of user behaviour, pain points, and areas for improvement. Prioritise changes based on their potential impact on enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Record and Analyse Sessions
    Record usability testing sessions for later review and analysis. This enables a thorough examination of participant interactions, identification of patterns, and the ability to share key findings with stakeholders who may not have participated in live sessions.

Further reading

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