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12. Running usability tests

Prototypes like those created in Pidoco are ideal for running early (moderated) usability tests. You can use your prototypes for both online and offline testing. Let's see how.

For an online test, you need some test user, a set of tasks or questions for the test participant, and ideally an option to record the test session for analyzing and documenting the results. We recommend using a web conferencing solution of your liking to share screens with the test user and communicate during the test session. The conferencing solution should allow you to switch moderator roles to the test user and record the screen and voices. Once you and the test user are in the conference call, send a "view" invitation to the test user. Now you can watch the user click through and interact with your prototype. Ask the participant to comment on his actions and thoughts while going through the tasks you present, and take note of any issues the user comes across.

For an offline test, you need a computer and must meet with the test user in a suitable place. We recommend using some recording software to capture the screen and ideally the voice of the user while interacting with the prototype. Some recording tools even allow you to capture the facial expression of the test user via a webcam, if available. If you have a stable internet connection, you can simply open the prototype in the "Simulation" view. If you don't, simply export the project in HTML format, unzip, and open the prototype from there.

For more information on running remote usability tests, take a look at our blog.

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