In my software career I have tested everything from missile systems to television sets. Curi™, however, is new and different kind of consumer device, for me, anyway. While a member of Mass Challenge we took advantage of an opportunity to meet with members of the software development team of a large health insurance company. They stressed the importance of testing a consumer product, especially its user interface, as many times as possible with as many people as possible. There are so many nuances to be learned from how people use your product that the time spent teaching people and watching them is an investment with huge returns.
If you are reading this, you have probably noticed the new look of our website. Over the last few months it had become increasingly obvious that the old version of the site wasn’t working for us and it was time for an overhaul. The process is ongoing, but the first stage is ready and you can see the results now.
Over the last few weeks the Semafores team has started the process of testing Curi™, our mobile social application for family caregiving, while development progresses. For the time being we’re demonstrating our user interface (UI) using a prototype we created using InVision, a web based application for creating and sharing clickable prototypes for web pages and mobile apps. We decided early in the process of creating our prototype that we would need to give our testers a guided tour to get the most out of the test. Curi™ is a complex application with many moving parts and making it seamless enough for our testers to wander at will would have taken months—time better spent in sharing the design and creating the working version. By giving our testers a tour we can direct them to the parts of our design that we want to learn about, and avoid the extra effort of creating similar screens and mocking up parts of the application, like help screens, that we felt we could safely leave for later.