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I am in the process of starting to facilitate design thinking workshop sessions and from past experience I feel fairly comfortable with each step except for the user testing phase. I realize this phase would largely be dictated by the preceding phases (eg. empathy/research/define/ideate/prototype) but I'm struggling with the basic rules of engagement and logistics around the testing phase in Design thinking. For example:

  1. Say we talk to users during the empathy phase in the morning, do we have them come back later in the day to test our prototypes? Maybe next day if its a 2 day session? That's a lot of organizing/logistical effort.
  2. If we're testing a prototype, are we taking an MVP approach. Are we focusing on only a few key tasks? Testing the entire experience? This one in particular has me thinking about time constraints and getting as many users to test our prototype in a potentially short amount of time

I would love to hear how people have handled and approached Design thinking in general but specifically would love to hear about people's approach to the testing phase

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Here a few thoughts based on my own experience

1. Empathy and user testing with different people

You don't have to test with the same people you interviewed during the empathy phase. Sure it would be great to do so, but as you said it's a logistical nightmare. Often I would do a round of empathy with a set of users and then test it with another set of users. Assuming all these users are in the same target audience.

2. An assumption map is a good help

What is it that is the most important to uncover at this stage? It depends for each project. A good way to find out what you need to test is to use an assumption map: https://www.slideshare.net/7thpixel/introduction-to-assumptions-mapping-agile2017 Example of an assumption map Once you have written down all your assumptions you can then categorize them by how unknown it is and how important it is. The first things to prototype are the elements that are in the quadrant "unknown and important".

Hope it helps 🤓

  • Thanks Daniele - very helpful – Gary Jay May 2 at 11:30

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