Several UX designers use complete prototype to simulate a website or software experience, and even with the use of real data to make it work just like it was a programmed piece of software. This saves time and teamwork, and may also improve coding quality, since it generates a better documented process.
Why should you test your functional wireframes
Dana Chisnell has a great article about when you should record usability sessions. It involves what you will and may do with testing, which kinds of results you should expect and even legal issues. It’s a great material.
Sometimes you have a very clear opinion about your idea, but the final users don’t understand. It may seem obvious for those involved in the project, but not for everyone. And they are the ones who will use and buy what you’re working in. So, testing may help you prevent mistakes and huge errors.
But what if your testing shows you’ve got to change a lot of things? Imagine the countless hours of work lost? And the other ones you’ll need to put into the project? This can be avoided using functional wireframes.
How should you do usability tests
To test a functional mockup, you need to follow several steps. It’s not hard, and it’s a much documented procedure. There’s a great article from Microsoft that explains how to define tasks, how many people you need, how to facilitate, moderate and record. (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd920305.aspx)
Usability testing is very important, and we believe Justinmind Prototyper can be a great help to everyone involved in the activity.
Tools for testing: what you should use
There are plenty of options for recording screen, mouse track and users’ faces with a camera. Some solutions were listed in one of our blog posts for recording screen and mouse movements. You can use some camera recording software like Silverback (mac only) for record faces and audio. Then, you’ll have plenty of data to analyse.