4. Evaluate - (i) Design detailed and relevant testing methods that generate data to measure the success of the solution.
At the end of year 5 you should be able to:
- design a wide range of effective tests to evaluate the solution against the requirements of the design specification (including expert appraisal, user trials, field testing and user observation)
An effective and authentic measure of a design solution means that you tested against every aspect of the design specification. These tests can be classified as follows:
- The user is presented with the solution and is set a task to achieve with little or no guidance. The user’s interaction with the solution is observed and recorded.
- The user is presented with the solution and guided on how to use it. The user is asked questions as he or she interacts with the solution or is given a survey to complete. User trials may include focus groups.
- The design of interview or survey questions needs to be targeted to draw out responses that assess the solution against the specification.
- A person considered an expert in the use of similar products is presented with the solution, given time to interact with the solution and then interviewed on aspects of its success. The expert has particular knowledge and skills that allow him or her to make judgments on the success of the solution. The expert may be the client.
- A field trial is a test of the performance of a solution under the conditions and situation in which it will be used. For example, an interactive information point (developed in HTML) for a museum exhibit may be tested by the exhibit visitors in the museum, structured as a user trial or user observation.
- The performance of a solution is tested under the conditions in which it would normally be used. Quantitative data is collected through a variety of tests such as:
- destructive tests assessing impact strength or flammability
- cyclic tests
- measurement of physical properties such as weight and size
- timed tests for web pages to load
- ease of navigation through an interactive story, game or website