How To Test A Design Concept For Effectiveness
Most of us are reasonably comfortable with the idea of carrying out usability testing on a website or prototype. We don’t always get the opportunity, but most people accept that it is a good idea.
However, when it comes to a design concept, opinion is more divided. Some designers feel it undermines their role, a view that seems to be somewhat backed up by the famous “Forty Shades of Blue” episode, where Google tested which one of forty shades of blue to use for link color.
It is a position I can sympathize with, and testing certainly doesn’t tell us everything. For example, it cannot come up with the right solution, only judge a design that already exists. Neither is the kind of obsessional testing demonstrated by Google healthy for morale, or most companies bottom line.
That said, in this post, I want to explore some of the advantages testing design concepts can provide to us as designers, and demonstrate that we can do it cheaply and without slowing down the delivery of the overall project.
Let’s begin by asking why a designer might favor testing of their design concepts.