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I was at this interview for ux designer position and my interviewer asked me that if your colleagues didn't agree on your design, how would you defend it?

Then I said I would test the design in cheapest and fastest way. Then he was like "how would you do it?"

I said ask people to test it. But he was like "that's not cheap!".

What you think?

  • What do you mean by "ask people to test it"? Do you mean hire someone else to test your design and then provide the results to your colleagues? – Stephen Dec 7 '14 at 16:24
  • Well, I meant asking the closet persona around to our target audience, in this case we were looking at teenagers, could be colleague's kids, I should have elaborated for him maybe. @Stephen – ArdMir Dec 9 '14 at 1:31
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  1. Print out the screen on plain white paper using a color printer.
  2. Put the paper in an opaque folder.
  3. Walk out to the desk of the lowest tech person in the office.
  4. Ask them to look at something for you.
  5. Open the folder, facing them... count to five... close the folder.
  6. Then, with all your colleagues within earshot, have the lowest tech person in your office describe what the screen is for and what they would be able to do with it.
  • That is absolutely brilliant. I do something similar with my wife. Whenever I have a design that has no money for UI testing, I usually ask her to critique it for me – Hello Universe Dec 4 '14 at 0:26
  • That is really clever, thank you for your unique answer @Henry ,but what if the target audience is very different from the people in the office, in this case we were looking at teenagers between 11-18. Again Thanks :) – ArdMir Dec 9 '14 at 1:22
  • Good point. Some products do have very specific user-bases which may be hard to sample cheaply. If however, you are writing a product for such an audience, I would hope that you at least know a few of targets. You may have to drive across town to run your test, but it is always worth it. – Henry Taylor Dec 9 '14 at 15:13
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Have you tried UsabilityHub? Its tests allow you to expose a living person to your design, and after five seconds they're asked various questions about it. You can also make flow tests, where they're asked to navigate through your design, or tests where they decide which version looks better.

It's cheap - it has a free plan, where you "pay" for your tests with credits earned through taking other users' tests (which doesn't take too much time). The downside would be the fast thing. On the free plan you get the lowest priority, meaning you might have to wait a while to get meaningful results. However, you could just send your friends a link to your test and ask them to take it.

Overall, it's pretty much the same as Henry Taylor's way, but it's more digital.

  • thank you, that is a very good solution too, I also thought of MechanicalTurk, but never used it. – ArdMir Dec 9 '14 at 1:26
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Testing is as expensive as you want to make it.

Pay for usability consultants and participant compensation, sure that would start to become expensive.

Take interactive or paper prototypes to a local cafe and shout a few participants a free coffee. Cheap in comparison.

It always comes down to what you are looking to test (fidelity, complexity, etc) and who you need to test with (niche audiences are harder to stumble upon).

  • No offense Devin, but this seems like a random and amateurish "methodology". Are his colleagues going to feel any better knowing that a handful of coffee shop patrons felt a certain way about his designs? – Stephen Dec 7 '14 at 16:28
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    When you’re dealing with consumer tech, the users in the café are the same people who would be invited into your usability study. Once you’re comfortable with carrying out testing sessions I believe you could carry out an effective session in a public place. After all, you only need 5 people to gather great insights. Now if you were testing a control interface for plane pilots for example, then yes, a brief test using café patrons is not going to suffice, as the both the context and the audience are not a good fit. – Devin Dec 7 '14 at 23:05
  • Would that work with paper prototypes or screen mock-ups? – Stephen Dec 8 '14 at 0:51
  • I imagine you could run a paper session or a digital one in that scenario. – Devin Dec 8 '14 at 1:35
  • Do you think that would work with airline pilots? – Stephen Dec 8 '14 at 4:45

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