How to best test your prototype during a design sprint

Many agencies and companies work agile to quickly develop concepts and designs. An important part of this agile approach is testing. We’ll use this blog to help you get the most out of your time when testing in a Design Sprint.  

At the end of this article you will know:

✓   A: When to start testing in a Design Sprint

✓   B: How to prepare the test

A. Prepare the test on Wednesday

Design Sprints often go the same way. On Monday, the problem is investigated, on Tuesday possible solutions are considered, on Wednesday a solution is chosen, on Thursday the prototype is made and on Friday there is testing. It may therefore seem like a good idea to sign up on Thursday to write the Test Script. However, we have found that the script is best written and presented on Wednesday afternoon. This has the following three reasons.

The solution is not clear earlier

The first reason is simple; writing a Test Script can not take place earlier because it is unclear before Wednesday afternoon what will be tested. On Wednesday afternoon there often is a clear concept then will the solution really come about. You really need this concept to form a suitable scenario and to ask the right questions.

At this moment you have influence

Often on the Wednesday afternoon it is determined what the prototype will look like. This offers you not only the ability to understand all the steps, but also to influence the prototype:

(1) You can often already recognize pitfalls and quick wins in a product. If you already advise on this at on Wednesday, the prototype can become more user-friendly and testing is more valuable.

(2) Often you can already determine at this moment that certain test scenarios are difficult to imagine. If you already advise on this at the moment, the prototype can be made around a recognizable scenario and testing becomes more valuable

After this, there is little time

The prototype is made on Thursday. For Sprint teams where each member has to work on the prototype, this is often a very stressful day because they have to get everything complete and working for the day after. They therefore have little time to explain the problem, the solution, and the prototype, and to check your Test Script. In addition, this is too late to make changes. If you need help writing your Test Script, check out our free test script template!

B. Write the script on-site

During a Design Sprint a lot is written and pasted on the walls. Each member knows exactly where they can find all information and decisions in this physical, spatial file. It is therefore difficult for them to explain the problem and the solution to you if you are elsewhere. Therefore, try to be present at the team on Wednesday afternoons to write the test script there and to handle questions there.

5 day solution

After five intense days you have a well-considered concept and a tested prototype ready to be further developed. We hope you get the most out of your sprint with our tips. Do you have your own best practices of testing in a Design Sprint? Let us know in the comments on Facebook or LinkedIn!

Happy week!