I already did 2 semesters of testing this year, and can’t say that I really enjoyed that aspect of the program, until I applied the methods to outlining this app that I’d actually created myself. It put a new perspective on the work of testing out designs.
Mainly, it made me realize very clearly that even while you’re designing with the user in mind, as you begin to formally ask questions about how a user will approach what you’ve designed, you begin to realize that you don’t actually know how they will respond.
Will my solutions translate to an intuitive experience for the users I’ve kept in mind throughout the process? I hope that I stepped outside of my own head enough throughout the design stage. I know that I asked a lot of questions of others while I worked. I debated design choices with classmates. I asked educator friends on Facebook to tell me about current processes and possible hurdles to overcome when designing a program for funding and choosing school lunches.
But, the real users will be the ones to ultimately decide if I was successful. I think there are two main areas where the ultimate success will fall: is the app intuitive and easy to use? and will the app be something a user can see integrating into their daily/weekly routines?
I like that designers can use programs like proto.io to design and test their apps while they’re working, instead of having to build everything and “hope for the best”. I certainly plan to implement prototype testing in my own work in the future!