Hallway Studio

May 19, 2016

I mentor with 1776, a DC area incubator, and in a recent conversation the member was asking about feedback. He told me that he was sending links out to a prototype and hoping to receive good stuff back. I told him I was concerned with this approach because he was :

  • Missing the gut reaction moment
  • Dependent on them to write feedback well
  • Dependent on them finding time to view and respond

Instead I suggested asking people to do 10 minute sessions. This would allow him to get better feedback from busy people.

I know more than a few UX researchers who would be aghast at doing a test in 10 minutes, but a short test with the right target customer is better than an hour test with no one.

You can use this method with a prototype application, a landing page, a canvas or just about anything else you want to show someone.

2 Minutes – Introduction and Information Gathering 

Start by setting expectations and asking the participant to be brutally honest. I also let the participant know that I will ask them “so what do you think is?” a lot because it helps me understand their needs and I hope they won’t get annoyed. This is also the time to ask any questions you have to make sure you have the right target customer or if you want to learn anything about their behaviors, goals, needs…

2 Minutes – First Impression 

Reveal what ever you’re testing ask for a first impression. In addition to their gut reaction you are looking to see if they understand what it is and find it useful.

4 Minutes – Feature Review 

Once you have the overall reaction you can start asking about individual features or items. Avoid asking leading questions, you will learn more by asking very open question and then following up on specific items they didn’t address.

If they ask you any questions, reflect them back by saying:

  • What do you think it is?
  • How do you think it works?
  • How do you think you can do X?
  • What do you think  X would be called?

2 Minutes – Checking Understanding and Getting Referrals 

Ask them to describe what they’ve seen to a friend for a B2C product or a colleague for a B2B product. This helps you understand what they think the product is and what value it provides in their own words. Based on what they say you can ask follow up questions about the value of the product. Then ask them to refer folks who would be interested.

Image: Playing around in an image editior

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