Testing with users is a fundamental part of human-centered design. You test with users to not only refine your solution, but to better understand the people you’re designing for. When you test prototypes, consider both what you can learn about your solution and what you can learn about your user—you can always use more empathy.
How to test with users
Let your user experience the prototype
Show don’t tell. Put your prototype in the user’s hands (or your user in the prototype) and give only the basic context they need to understand what to do.
Have them talk through their experience
Use prompts. “Tell me what you’re thinking as you do this.”
Don’t immediately “correct” your user. Watch how they use (and misuse) your prototype.
Follow up with questions
This is often the most valuable part. “Show me why this would (not) work for you.” “Can you tell me how this made you feel?” “Why?” Answer questions with questions. “Well, what do you think that button does?”
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