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Chapter 4. Involving Customers with Iter... > Choosing an Evaluation Technique

Choosing an Evaluation Technique

When do you use expert reviews, informal evaluations, and formal evaluations? The answer is to use multiple techniques. The techniques should be balanced by your cost constraints, as well as by how early in the process the evaluation is taking place. For example, testing low-fi prototypes is especially effective in very early stages. In later stages, because you have defined more of the site details, you might want to create HTML prototypes instead so that you can evaluate these details.

Always run expert reviews and informal evaluations as you iterate, to work out basic design flaws. Focus especially on qualitative process data in the early stages of design because it helps you figure out where the big problems are. Use the patterns to find solutions to these problems and then iterate. Do a few formal evaluations as your Web site matures, as it gets closer to deployment, or even after it has been deployed. This strategy will help you refine and polish your site.


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