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Wireframing Part 3 of 3 Validating your layout

by Martyn Green on December 18, 2012

In my last post I discussed how you can create a layout and potential structure for your intranet with a paper prototype.

If you want to validate your layout you may want to create an electronic wireframe. If that’s the case, I find a very effective way is to use specific wire framing software such as Axure. These are designed to link each page together so you can get an idea of the logical flow between different site areas.

To test out your site you’ll want to assemble a sample group of typical intranet users who are from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Using your wireframe, ask them to perform a task.

During stakeholder interviews you’ll have got a good understanding of the type of tasks that are performed frequently.

This may have been:

  • Finding a contact
  • Finding a document

Based on this, you can ask your test group to perform one of these tasks.

You can then measure how successful the layout is by giving them a certain amount of time to find the information or counting clicks. As a general rule,three clicks or less is the ideal amount of time.

If there are minor adjustments needed you can adjust the wireframe and retest. However if the layout doesn’t appear to be working well at all and staff are struggling to find content quickly, you will probably need to go back and rethink your paper prototype.

After you’ve completed testing successfully, you’ll have a site that works well for your intended audience.

Topics: 3. Function

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