IADT MSc UX Design Assignment — Prototyping and Evaluation


  • The initial paper prototype was constructed by leveraging Balsamiq cut-outs and wooden sticks.
  • The second and third iterations used pen and paper components to enable more rapid change and easy recording on camera.
  • Marvel App augmented the paper prototypes; linking them together in a simulation of a mobile application.
Confirmation message alternatives in Marvel App.
Paper prototyping options. Clockwise from top left: Paper stencils and sticks, paper-based interaction, team paper-based version of a common task, paper-based screens in digital format on smartphone.

Prototyping Video

Video walkthrough of an initial design using paper stencils and coffee stirring sticks, also identifying questions for later testing
Hand-drawn paper components assembled into a digital flow using Marvel app

Prototyping Learning Lessons

  • Paper prototyping enables rapid and low-cost creation and iteration.
  • The simplicity of prototyping avoids the distraction of visual treatments and reminds users what they are seeing is still at the design stage.
  • Digital tools are required for delivering prototypes during lockdown restrictions to remote testers.
  • Road test the prototype before usability testing with recruited participants.


Testing Metrics

Participant Recruitment

  • A simple screener (Arnould, 2015) was constructed to identify suitable testers from the population.
  • A consent form was signed.
  • Permission from guardians was obtained.
  • The facilitator was vetted and certified as suitable to work with minors (An Garda Síochána, HSE Ireland, 2020).


Testing Method

Test script introduction

Testing Delivery

Zoom testing. The participant shares their view of the prototype as the task is performed; talking out loud about their decisions.

Prototype Iterations

  • The initial test task was effective, but there was some hesitancy that was explored further: the design use of an Upload button in two successive steps was confusing.
Initial prototype with first participant, exploratory questions included.
  • For the first iteration, the second Upload button label was changed to Submit, which eliminated the hesitancy of testers.
First iteration with Upload button label modification
  • For the second iteration, the number of steps to perform the task was reduced by two by removing Add File and Submit actions. This iteration also offered a progress bar modal dialog to increase system visibility during hand-in.
Second iteration, showing reduced steps and combined processing/confirmation modal.

Evaluation Learning Lessons

  • Decide on a testing methodology and measurable criteria.
  • Screen and recruit test participants. Be resourceful during the lockdown and get consent and buy-in.
  • Make changes supported by feedback and test iteratively.
  • During testing, listen actively, probe gently and restate to clarify, then summarize. (Quesenbery & Brooks, 2011).

Testing Results and Data




Parent. UX Gunslinger. Curious. Researcher. Marathoner. Dog person. 80s hair & music. Dub. Content in this blog may not necessarily reflect the views of IADT.

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Ultan O'Broin (MUGATEAUX)

Ultan O'Broin (MUGATEAUX)

Parent. UX Gunslinger. Curious. Researcher. Marathoner. Dog person. 80s hair & music. Dub. Content in this blog may not necessarily reflect the views of IADT.

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