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Service Design Framework

Practices and tools for delivering optimal
user experience journeys.

EXPERIMENT PHASE

Wizard of Oz

Get responses to a working prototype without investing in making one. Create responses behind-the-scenes to user interactions to test functionality.

Templates

No template needed

Who’s involved

At least one team member

Timeframe

Once you have a low-fidelity or high-fidelity prototype to test; set aside time for creating the prototype, planning the scenario, and testing

How to use this method

In Wizard of Oz prototyping, users interact with a prototype that appears to work, but is being operated by someone behind the scenes. This can draw out real responses to a fake scenario and evaluate functionality before you build a solution. To build and test this prototype:

1. Create the prototype

Develop a simulated user interface or object with the elements you want to test.

2. Plan

Create a test plan. Create instructions for the facilitator, participant, and “wizard.” The goal is to make the interaction feel as real as possible, so the wizard should get very familiar with how to respond to all possible actions. Start recruiting users.

3. Set up

Build out the procedure for how the test will run, including how to monitor the prototype and rig it to respond. Practice.

4. Test

Run the test with users and observe how they interact with the prototype. Ask them to think out loud, and debrief with them after. You can unveil the wizard and explain why you kept it secret.

5. Refine

When needed, refine the prototype and repeat testing.

More resources

“Prototyping” (Think) Article

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