Wizard of Oz prototyping (WOZ prototyping) is a design methodology used in rapid product development to improve the user experience (UX).

WOZ prototyping requires developers to create a rudimentary model of the completed product, which is called a prototype.  The prototype may be quite simple, using every-day objects to represent parts of the finished product or it may be a working model, capable of performing some – but not all – of the tasks they completed product will perform. Once the prototype has been created, developers use role-playing to test how end users will interact with the product.


 

Why?

As UX researchers we often remind people to test systems at every stage of development, and that includes testing before development has even begun. This can save time, money and those ever so embarrassing moments when products are launched before they are fit and ready for users.

The Wizard of Oz methodology allows you to test users’ reactions to a system before you even have to think about development. This could be a new concept you are unsure will work for your users or a project that would require a substantial amount of effort to create, but we want to learn more before it makes sense to invest the time and money, and it cannot be tested with the usual prototype tools. Wizard of Oz is a flexible approach that allows concepts to be tested and modified without having to worry about potentially tiresome code changes, breaks in a daily testing schedule or full development costs.

Highlights:

References & Further Readings About Wizard of Oz prototyping

  1. What is Wizard of Oz prototyping? - Definition from WhatIs.com

    Wizard of Oz prototyping is a tactic used by developers to give the appearance that an application or program has been completely automated when, in fact, it hasn't.

    searchcio.techtarget.com

  2. Prototyping: Learn Eight Common Methods and Best Practices | Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF)

    There can never be an exhaustive list of prototyping methods, since there is quite literally an endless number of ways you can build prototypes. What we can do, however, is provide a useful list of th...

    www.interaction-design.org

  3. Wizard of Oz testing – a method of testing a system that does not yet exist. - Usability Testing & Market Research by SimpleUsability Behavioural Research Consultancy : Usability Testing & Market Research by SimpleUsability Behavioural Research Consultancy

    Behavioural Research Consultancy

    www.simpleusability.com

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