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I will be testing various dashboard ideas on the hospital floor. We are testing for content to see if the info is valuable in real-time. Are there interesting tools / methods that would allow me to test the ideas without spending a lot of time developing the prototypes? I am the only UX designer / person on the team with html/css and some javascript experience.

So far I have multiple methods to get user feedback but as a project team, we are looking to test it in real time . Here are some methods and respective concerns:

Paper prototypes: difficult to keep updating a paper dashboard prototype

Wizard-of-Oz: create dashboard "site" on local host is one idea

Simulation: have staff visit and try the prototype (but may present a biased perspective)

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If you are testing the "real time" part of the system then having a functional prototype would seem to be the best approach - but I've no evidence to back that up. – ChrisF Feb 16 '12 at 8:57
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can also try interactive dashboard creation through Powerpoint, with basic shapes and symbols with less time invested and do some corridor testing.

Ask people to vote or study participants how they react to a series of ideas.

Also Excel looks perfect, since you can clean up the data and get some default visualization shown up. Once the template is set its good to reuse it. Additional link-

Try working on the trial version (or buy if you have budget)

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I love the idea of using powerpoint / excel because then if I test it in real time I can have the template set up and update the data quickly behind the scenes (in wizard mode) :P – Melissa Acosta Feb 17 '12 at 19:47

I saw this article a few weeks ago about a UX designer with a similar predicament. He solved the problem with a combination of a traditional Axure prototype and some clever usage of Google Docs.

He details the amount of time he spent vs. the benefits at the end of the article. If you're a bit tech savvy and can't justify getting developers involved this early in the project I think it sounds like a reasonable proposition in your case.

As for your other suggestions I'm sure they could yield some valuable findings as well despite the shortcomings of various methods.

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thanks! I'll will definitely try that out ASAP. Another one that I recently found is creating an interactive dashboard via excel: – Melissa Acosta Feb 16 '12 at 18:53

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