Under the heading of Testing and Prototyping I found of interest the ‘Wizard of Oz’ methodology where a design could be tested in a detailed manner by observing the interaction of the potential user without revealing the evaluator’s presence.
Sometimes the constraints and budget of a design project does not allow one to explore fully the potential of the user. Recently I completed a project for Kiwani’s Pride of Barbados, which involved a mascot and simple display to attract kids around a storyteller. The objective was to encourage children that reading is fun. Although the client happily accepted the final product, in hindsight it would have been nice to test my mascot as well as the display. Testing and prototyping has immense value and it’s a shame there was no time or money for both parties to truly benefit from the responses of children in a focus group.
On the flip side, the ‘Character Profiles’ tools I have heavily used in the Design Futures module to develop a detailed profile of the Post-consumer.