Blueprint prototyping, effective user testing and big data for a better product development strategy. Read on to explore strategic prototyping for top enterprise solutions.
In their ‘Power BI Governance and Deployment’ white paper, Javier Guillén and Melissa Coates define Strategic Prototyping as “the process of leveraging Power Business Intelligence to explicitly seek out feedback from users during a requirements discovery session.” Over the years, many large companies have authorized project development without applicable user testing or data analysis during the prototyping stage, often resulting in hefty resource expenditure for insufficient gain. But times are changing: we’re steering towards a culture of selling utility over products, where user testing goes hand in hand with requirements definition and management. How? Through a strategic prototyping approach that incorporates validation by real users throughout the product development process.
The Big Digital Data Culture
A big part of great product development strategy nowadays is down to data. After all, we have entered the age of data! According to Javier Guillén and Melissa Coates, “Business Intelligence practitioners typically define data-savvy companies as those that benefit from the use of factual information to support decision making. We even describe certain organizations as having a ‘data culture’”. With the ever-increasing availability of powerful web analytics, data-driven product strategy and development and leveraging business intelligence are becoming widely adopted in large companies.
But why are data and analytics so important?
In their 2012 feature on big data, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson explain that: “Because of big data, managers can measure, and hence know, radically more about their businesses, and directly translate that knowledge into improved decision making and performance.” They go on to reveal that companies in the top third of their industry using data-driven decision making strategies were on average 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors.
“The big data of this revolution is far more powerful than the analytics that were used in the past. We can measure and therefore manage more precisely than ever before. We can make better predictions and smarter decisions.” Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson
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Leveraging a data-driven strategy in the name of users
Big data is the future of software definition, but what does this actually mean?
These days it seems that everyone has lots of data. But those who are successful are the ones who have quality data. According to Teredata, those who “have the expertise, motivation and capacity to use it effectively and to drive bottom-line results across the whole enterprise” have the right data and are using it effectively. Analysis of the right data can help us to discover patterns related to the ebb and flow of user behavior. And, as we’ve already figured out, we must understand the user to give them what they want and need.
“It requires a certain degree of humility to appreciate that all that is within one’s field of observation and experience isn’t all there is.” Maura Kelly
Kelly explains that it’s not just using data that helps us define and develop our products. As with all learning, our data education should be continuous: what we learn from data helps us to innovate, take risks and strive to go further for our users. But how do we go about this? Well, it all starts with getting involved with data right from the beginning of our product life cycle: user testing at the prototyping stage.
Achieving effective user testing through strategic prototyping
Business teams communicate daily with IT about project requirements, business initiatives, and web solutions. But what about the users? How do we tap into that intelligence? With a smart, collaborative prototyping tool that gives us access to real user data through user validation. There are essentially three main areas of importance when it comes to product validation.
- User scenarios: When creating a prototype, we run user scenarios to verify and validate the flow that a user will perform when navigating software, a website or an app. They help us to authenticate whether our requirements are on track or have become disjointed.
- Collaborative and sharing features: Sharing your designs in a prototype allow everyone involved in the project to view, simulate and validate the prototype.
- User testing: Once we’ve created our prototype, it is simulated, tested and validated by real business users, clients and stakeholders in order to gather feedback and ensure all relevant ideas are flushed out and accounted for. Why? In order to understand their needs, how they interact with the prototype and ultimately whether it solves their problem. How? Our user testing resources provide access to data and analytics related to their behavior.
Through the prototyping process, users are able to visualize the progress and refining of their solution. When they understand how the prototype works, users can actively participate in the process of providing feedback and suggestions of possible improvements. These improvements are the next step towards providing the solutions that the users need. Prototypes are the blueprints of these solutions, contributing to the process innovation – strategic prototyping is so much more than just a small step in the process that can be overlooked and can be extremely gratifying!
Justinmind provides a prototyping framework that encourages the practice of data analysis for user-centered product development and maximizes the participation level of real users. Our interactive scenarios help you to verify your designs again your target user groups and our integration with user testing and research platform, Validately, will allow you to go that much further with data-driven prototype. Moreover, we offer you an easy way to define and manage your requirements visually! By developing with Justinmind instead of designing off-the-cuff, companies are able to quickly prototype, build and then develop works without dealing with a hefty manufacturing pipeline.
Download Justinmind Enterprise today and start solving problems with a strategic prototyping approach!