When you don’t expose what you’re building to users, your team ends up spending time and resources on building features that either don’t create value or don’t work. If the only time you get to learn from the users is after launch—that’s the cost of an entire sprint gone.
The more you test during the design process, the more you acquire knowledge about your users, their needs, and what works and what doesn’t.
Rapid testing benefits not only the design team, but your organization’s core product function. Everyone from marketers to product managers become mutually accountable to validate their process, meaning less time spent on building the wrong thing.
Use the IOTA (Input-Objective-Test-Analysis) iterative loop to test and move forward with your decision.
Input: Whenever an important decision comes up (e.g. the feature to design, the copy to use, or the prototype to move forward with), identify it as an “input.”
Objective: Once you determine the input, next, set an objective—the key result that, once reached, will validate the decision.
Test: Next it’s time to determine the right methodology based on your goal. For example, if you’re testing your new brand’s first impressions and perception, the right test will probably be a 5-second test or a user interview with open-ended questions.
Analysis: Finally, you’ll assess results and compare them against your objective. If the results match the objective, then you can move onto the next phase in your design process.
by Jonathan Widawski in How to rapidly test any experience