Andy Howard

Why We Prototype

We’ve seen revenue increases of over 50%.

We prototype and test websites (and apps and everything else) to help move our clients’ commercial needle. Prototyping and testing unearths valuable insights, helps shape the most useful outcome possible and dramatically increases the likelihood of commercial success.

We’ve seen revenue increases of over 50% after a website redesign (from a large base), website ROI payback periods of less than 6 months, and big swings in customer conversion and retention. In every case, the tested prototype is pivotal in achieving the outcome with a finely tuned user experience (UX).

A prototype is a simulation of a real website or app. It’s usually black, grey and white, and it lives in a web browser and is clickable (or tappable) and interactive. During testing, customers can use a prototype to complete the most important customer journeys, and in doing so, revenue roadblocks or usability issues can be identified with the right interviewing and moderation. Testing can take place remotely or in-person; in-person is always more revealing. We typically test quite detailed prototypes in-person with a carefully recruited set of participants, then we iterate the prototype, then we test again with another specific group. We’re happy to share more about how we go about recruitment and who we involve in testing, and why. We’ve written before about how we go about digital customer experience design and how prototyping fits in.

This isn’t crowdsourcing and it’s not about customers coming up with design ideas. It’s about designing a user experience and using real customers to validate it, removing roadblocks and usability issues along the way.

Brands find every dollar spent on UX drives between $2 and $100 in return (source: Fast Company). It’s not for everyone and it certainly adds time and expense, though it’s consistently an excellent investment. Econsultancy’s ‘User Experience Survey Report’ found 95% of brands surveyed considered user experience a good investment. For example, Bank of America increased online banking yield 45% with UX.

If you’re up for investing in UX and moving the needle, we’d love to chat. If you’d like to understand more about UX this workshop at Harvard Innovation Lab is a good start.

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