Day 27 & 28 - Wizard of OZ & A/B Testing
Wizard of OZ
A person behind the scenes controls the experience while participants interact with something that seems real.
What I Learned:
To save on putting work into a prototype that might not work, the "WoO" (nice acronym. I'm going to enjoy using that throughout this) method can help simulate what the product would/could do. The WoO technique is helpful when needing to learn how people will feel and react in a situation. It is a technique that can gauge a persons experience before putting the time and money into building out a full prototype.
As I though about the WoO method, I found myself thinking about 2 instances that it could be applied. First was the Donkey puppet at the Universal Studios "Shrek" ride. Like the example in the book, Donkey is an animatronic controlled and voiced by an actor behind the scenes. Second, I thought about how this method could apply to app design and remembered a prank video I saw recently that helped illustrate how an app and/or product experience can be done using WoO.
Comparison testing that pits two different versions of a design against each other to determine which one performs better and is more usable.
What I Learned:
I'm familiar with A/B testing as its a very common and somewhat popular method to use. Many job listing have "research, a/b testing experience" in their descriptions. Reading through the chapter I did learn that A/B testing is best to measure "which design generates better results...[but] won't help you understand why the design was preferred...". I think this is interesting because A/B testing can provide a good insight into what the issue is but not necessarily give insight into the attitude of the participant.
Reading about this method, I think you could also liken it to parallel prototyping in that you are trying 2 different tests at the same time and trying to learn what is working so you can choose the most viable option.
While it isn't a method for deciphering the entire page of site, it is a great method to use when determining page copy, form elements and buttons/call-to-action elements. A/B testing can help to focus in on the small elements that make or break flow getting to its goal.