Planning & Conducting Tests

Your team will need to answer these questions to start coordinating testing:

Articulate the Concept
What is the core idea for the prototype?

Select Touchpoints and Interactions
What sort of behaviours does the prototype need to support? What kinds of interactions should it include?

Comparative Evaluation
What other services provide similar functionality in other ministries, jurisdictions, or industry? Compare current solutions to similar challenges.

Policy Check-in
Check with your policy team to ensure that they are aware of your prototyping work, and to ensure that the policy implications of the prototype are understood.


Past participants from earlier Discovery work are great sources for prototype recruitment. They may be willing to try out the prototype or they may be able to refer friends or peers who would be interested in participating in the testing. Regardless, start recruiting as early in the prototyping phase as possible!

Conducting a Test

Test sessions typically have a moderator and one observer or note taker. Ideally, the moderator is not part of the team that came up with the concept or designed the prototype, as they may be more comfortable to take criticism from the participant than an actual team member.


The moderator introduces the project to the test participant, gets informed consent by briefing them on the testing procedure, and guides them through the test.


Observers and assistants watch the tests and may help with logistics, cameras, paperwork, etc. Observers typically refrain from interacting with participants in the test until invited to do so by the moderator. This invitation usually occurs near the end of the test session as it lowers the risk of creating biases of the test participant.