Usability testing is an important part of Human Centered Design practice. My experience ranges from testing products readily available in market to low-fidelity prototypes and everything in-between. Key for useful usability testing is to recruit the right target group; those who will use the product but also those who will pay for the product and other stakeholders.
For Joytingle, a start-up in Singapore, I helped design their first product ‘Rabbit Ray’, a toy that explains blood draw to hospitalised children. I helped transform Rabbit Ray from a successful concept to a product ready for crowdfunding. We tested our high-fidelity prototype with our end users, nurses and children, and decided our product was ready to go to market.
For production we needed more funds however. Therefore, we decided to pre-sell sets through a crowdfunding platform (Indiegogo) so that we could kick start production with funds raised. Though not intended, we put viability to the test and learned. We did not raise the funds we needed and even though product quality was perfect and we had great media coverage, only a handful were sold. Had we tested earlier with our intended buyers, at that time parents, we would have learned sooner that although you can have a high quality product, you need to test the business case too.
(Please note: The above story represents my perspective on why the campaign was not successful. After the crowdfunding attempt in 2013 my involvement ceased.)