Choosing Templates for Your Design and Development Process

 

At a Glance

Templates allow you to quickly collect high-fidelity feedback that aligns with your goals. This article provides tips for selecting templates for different stages in your design and development process to help you achieve desired outcomes.

 

Depending on what kind of design and development process your team follows, UserTesting has a list of test templates that can help you gather insights and inform decisions at every stage of the process. All templates can be found in the Template Gallery.

Templates for the Design Thinking Process

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Design Thinking is “an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions.”* If your team observes this process, UserTesting recommends using the following test templates at each stage:

Empathize Stage

  • Customer environment and context: Understand the relationship between your customers and the real world.
  • Discover needs and frustrations: Identify opportunities for improvement, or understand people’s needs and pain points.

Design Stage

  • Buyer persona characteristics: Assess those attributes of your customer that may affect their buying behaviors.
  • Customer journey: Understand how customers engage with your brand or products across multiple touchpoints.

Ideate Stage

  • Value proposition validation: Assess whether and how much your target audience values the product or service you are offering.
  • Concept validation: Learn how customers respond to a new concept or idea.

Prototype Stage

  • Prototype evaluation: Observe people's experiences and interactions with a prototype. 
  • Information architecture: Use templates for card sorting, prioritizing features, mobile-app and website navigation, and tree testing so as to understand how users navigate a new experience.

Test Stage

  • Mobile/website evaluation: Assess critical characteristics of your app or website, such as its appearance or how easy or difficult your app or website is to use.
  • System Usability Scale (SUS+): Measure how easy or difficult it is to use a product or design.

Templates for Agile Processes

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"Agile" processes focus on “thinking through how you can understand what’s going on in the environment that you’re in today, identify what uncertainty you’re facing, and figure out how you can adapt to that as you go along.”**

If your team observes this framework, UserTesting recommends using certain templates at each of the following stages:

Plan Stage

  • Product adoption: Gain insights as to what keeps your most loyal customers engaged with your products.
  • Market expansion: competitive evaluation: Collect customer perceptions of a competitor in a new target market.
  • Feature prioritization: Understand which features are important to people and why.
  • Discover needs and frustrations: Identify opportunities for improvement or understand people’s needs and pain points.

Design Stage

  • Messaging comprehension: Gather reactions to messaging and its positioning.
  • Concept validation: Learn how customers respond to a new concept or idea.
  • Visual design evaluation: Gather insights about creatives, designs, videos, or other visual elements.

Develop Stage

  • Prototype evaluation: Observe people using a preproduction product or service.
  • Website navigation: Gather insights about how users navigate websites to find key information.

Test Stage

  • System Usability Scale (SUS+): Measure how easy it is to use a product or design.
  • Value proposition validation: Evaluate how the value of your offer is perceived by the target audience.

Deploy Stage

  • Mobile/website evaluation: Assess critical characteristics of your app or website such as appearance, trust, and how easy it is to use.

Feedback Stage

  • Website/mobile app comparison: Compare two website or mobile app experiences side by side.

*"What Is Design Thinking and Why Is It so Popular," Interaction Design Foundation

**"Agile 101," Agile Alliance

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