There is a lot of really good prototyping tools out there that vary in degree of detail. E.g., a high-fedility mockup in photoshop is also a lot of work, depending on what you need and what your stakeholders respond to. Good news, though, the reality of much user testing is that the fidelity of the mockup doesn't really play that big of a role - at least in terms of information architecture, labeling, and layout. So, Jennifer Wright's suggestions
> If you turned your paper prototypes into non-interactive digital images -- just, say, a Google Draw document or even Paint, with boxes where you want them, menus arranged accordingly, headers footers etc. -- you could put them up as slides at a gathering and get user feedback that way, both via direct request, taking notes in a kind of seminar session, as well as (if you were willing to tweak your designs in response to feedback) a card sort.
are really good!
You can upload sketches or wireframes - -e.g., using a tool like Balsamiq Mockups (which will extend free licenses to non-profs) or the new sketch app http://pattern.is -- to www.InvisionApp.com , which is also free. InvisionApp lets you create clickable areas on your mockups so you can actually test out interaction.
www.OptimalWorkshop.com has a free and invaluable Card Sorting tool which I think is probably the best way to test out Information Architecture because it is divorced from the layout of the page. You'll find the layout is its own beast, and poor menu design can complicate even the best IA.
If you're interested, there is a library user experience slack channel (https://libux.herokuapp.com) with a couple hundred people who do this kind of testing all the time, and some folks are always sharing new tools, mockups, and so on.
www.libux.co | https://twitter.com/schoeyfield
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kyle Breneman
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 9:48 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Methods to test new site IA?
Apologies for cross-listing...
I need some advice on user testing methods. I’ve embarked on a project to redo our library website’s information architecture. I’ve sketched out a new IA for the site which I want to test with users. Initially I thought that I would just build out the new IA on our development server, then do usability testing with users on the dev site. Now I’m realizing that will be a lot of work, and making any changes once its built will also take time. Is there a middle ground? Are there good ways to do some user testing with paper prototypes? I want to get feedback on whether my categories and labels are intuitive and meaningful.
Integrated Digital Services Librarian
University of Baltimore