3 easy and fast methods you should consider when testing your prototype

If you are involved in the development of new products or services, you’ll hopefully involve consumers early-on to gather better insights. If all goes well, at a point in time your ideas will finally come to life! It’s the moment where you start prototyping. But prototyping isn’t just about developing an idea you’ve come up with. It’s about testing, learning from failure and iterating as quickly as possible. This iterative process is essential in order to create solutions that matter for the intended customer.
But how do you gather feedback about your prototype in a meaningful way?
Doing qualitative interviews is seen as an obvious choice to uncover what people like or dislike about your concept. However, there often is a difference between what people “say” and what people “do”.

Here are 3 easy and fast ways to gather feedback about your prototype based on actual consumer behavior!

1.   Test purchase intent with an easy landing page builder (tool example: Unbounce)

Are people genuinely interested in buying my product or service? This is a very important question and you better hope the answer is ‘YES’! But how do you measure ‘interest’, how do you measure ‘purchase intent’?

Instead of asking purchase intent in an artificial and costly survey, we suggest asking this question in the real world…. Say what?! By creating an easy landing page where you present your concept and where people can actually buy/download/ get a quote/ make an appointment for your product or service. This is known as “smoke testing” a concept, because you’re literally building on smoke and mirrors. 

We hear you: “I don’t have a website, I can’t build a landing page, I can’t write code, hiring a web developer is also expensive, developing a landing page is time consuming … “. Nope, not with this awesome tool: https://unbounce.com/product-overview/landing-pages/

Unbounce is a conversion platform for marketeers. But, it’s also a very useful tool for innovation professionals. It uses a click-and-drop page builder to develop landing pages where you can show off your concept. You can choose from 100+ ready-to-use templates or build your own branded page from scratch in a couple of hours.

Great! Now that you have a professional looking landing page, you can start measuring people’s interest. Unbounce has a free reporting tool showing the number of visits & conversion rates. You’ll pretty soon have a good idea how successful your prototype is.

Examples of the available templates: 


2.  Discover how real users interact with your prototype with Maze

Designing a digital prototype is one thing, but how people actually use your prototype is something else. If you really want to know how people interact with your prototype without giving them the feeling the entire town is watching, consider using Maze. With Maze you can easily upload your InVision, Sketch or Marvel prototype and can create tasks or missions for testers to perform. An example of a task might be: “Send a friend request”.

Once you posted the task on the platform you can either invite your own testers or invite testers of the Maze community. In the end, you watch the results of your mission on the Maze KPIs dashboard. There you’ll see how many testers completed the mission, how many testers did not succeed, the average time spent on the task, the followed paths, …

Maze is a really useful tool to learn whether people truly understand your prototype and to have a better understanding of the UX-quality of your design. 

Example of a mission on Maze:


3.  Have an indication about your pricing strategy with the price sensitivity meter of Van Westendorp and Hotjar

How much are people willing to pay for your prototype? This is a tricky question to ask. In general, people won’t have a clear reference (anchoring) price point for your product/service and they’ll probably lie to your face.

A method of high predictive quality to measure consumers’ willingness-to-pay is the Van Westendorp’s Price Sensitivity Meter. This method is especially useful when you want to assess the acceptable price range of a new innovative product. All you have to do is ask your respondent these four questions:

  • “At what price would you consider the product to be priced so low that you would feel the quality couldn’t be very good?” (too cheap price)
  • “At what price would you consider the product to be a bargain—a great buy for the money?” (cheap price)
  • “At what price would you consider the product starting to get expensive, so that it is not out of the question, but you would have to give some thought to buying it?” (expensive)
  • “At what price would you consider the product to be so expensive that you would not consider buying it?” (too expensive[*])

Based on these questions you’re able to make the Price Sensitivity Meter chart.Looking at the chart above, it suggests that the acceptable price range is between $25 to $42, with a so-called “optimal” price of $26.

You can ask the four Van Westendorp questions in a traditional survey.
Alternatively, you can do it on the product page you just built, through the use of Hotjar. Hotjar allows you to target visitors with time or event-based questions. For instance, if a visitor would click on the ‘buy now’ call to action on my web page, this could trigger a survey with the four PSM questions. And to make it totally awesome, Hotjar can easily be implemented in your Unbounce landing page.

The PSM is a great way to explore prices and price strategies for new products. Of course, this is a first estimate, which you’ll need to refine along the way, but it provides you with a starting point. For more info about how to run the PSM of Van Westendorp:

Example of the time or event-based questions in Hotjar


Not all tools we presented above are free. But, they all look at actual behavior instead of self-proclaimed past or future behavior. And looking at actual behavior is more reliable. We hope you’re convinced that there are many more, easy & innovative ways to gather feedback about your prototype.