IXD 302 – Week 10 Proof of Concept

Prologue

This week was all about Proof of Concept. What is Proof of Concept? A proof of concept is an exercise in which work is focused on determining whether an idea can be turned into a reality. A proof of concept is meant to determine the feasibility of the idea or to verify that the idea will function as envisioned.

It is sometimes also known as proof of principle.

A proof of concept is not intended to explore market demand for the idea, nor is it intended to determine the best production process.

Rather, its focus is to test whether the idea is viable — giving those involved in the proof-of-concept exercise the opportunity to explore the idea’s potential to be developed or built.

Why do we need to do a POC?

Developing a proof of concept can help a product owner to identify potential technical and logistical issues that might interfere with success. It also provides the opportunity for an organization to solicit internal feedback about a promising product or service, while reducing unnecessary risk and exposure and providing the opportunity for stakeholders to assess design choices early in the development cycle.

The individual or team going through this process can then use a successful proof of concept to convince stakeholders, managers or investors that the idea is worth pursuing further.

The proof-of-concept process should include:

  • clearly defined criteria for success;
  • documentation for how the proof of concept will be carried out;
  • an evaluation component; and
  • a proposal for how to move forward should the POC prove to be successful.

 

S.W.O.T?

What on earth is a SWOT? Well it stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

SWOT Analysis is a tool that can help you to analyze what your company does best right now, and to devise a successful strategy for the future. SWOT can also uncover areas of the business that are holding you back, or that your competitors could exploit if you don’t protect yourself.

A SWOT analysis examines both internal and external factors – that is, what’s going on inside and outside your organization. So some of these factors will be within your control and some will not. In either case, the wisest action you can take in response will become clearer once you’ve discovered, recorded and analyzed as many factors as you can.

And then…

Ask other people if it needs to exist? Pitch the concept to your intended/ potential user group to confirm assumptions and validate your idea.

  •  Initial Interviews / Concept Testing
  • Survey / Questionnaire
  • Forum Responses / Competitor Reviews
  • Published Data

Put simply – verify the perceived problem actually exists and gain insights to help direct your user research.

Qualitatives and Quantitatives

Quantitative research is expressed in numbers and graphs. It is used to test or confirm theories and assumptions. This type of research can be used to establish generalizable facts about a topic. Common quantitative methods include experiments, observations recorded as numbers, and surveys with closed-ended questions.

Qualitative research is expressed in words. It is used to understand concepts, thoughts or experiences. This type of research enables you to gather in-depth insights on topics that are not well understood. Common qualitative methods include interviews with open-ended questions, observations described in words, and literature reviews that explore concepts and theories.

Personas

User personas are a user-centered design with a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. Personas can be created by talking to users and segmenting by various demographic and psychographic data to improve your product. While they can be used to represent a user type they can also provide valuable to your target audience by making it more likely for their needs to be met. This means you can design for specific users and know their exact goals and needs. They used most commonly to improve overall user experience within a design.

User Scenario

User scenarios are stories which designers create to show how users might act to achieve a goal in a system or environment. Designers make scenarios to understand users’ motivations, needs, barriers and more in the context of how they would use a design, and to help ideate, iterate and usability-test optimal solutions.

 

 

 

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