The other day a group of us were working on a project. We knew that it would be a bit tricky to get the wording right as we wanted it be meaningful to adults and accessible to children. After we’d put some effort in to it, we decided to test it. So one of my colleagues phoned her six-year old son. His responses were very helpful and illuminating.
We learned that there is value in prototyping (we didn’t get it even close in the early stages); testing is valid; getting your target audience right isn’t always straightforward.
We’re still working on it, and we will test it again – on adults as well as children. (One young lad got some extra homework with Mum to refine it.)
Interestingly, this appeared in my feed reader from the Marketoonist shortly after our session:
So, my final conclusions are that a focus group of one is helpful (just make sure they’re not the boss), more is better, and don’t trust your own judgement when you can test a prototype.
We will frequently have to make judgment calls with limited information. But, increasingly … we can rely on data and testing to help make more of the decisions rather than our guts.