Formative Evaluations

A special type of User Evaluation that is designed to test designs early on with representative users using low-fidelity prototypes. Unlike a User Evaluation, Formative Evaluations take place during the design cycle and are typically run regularly to iteratively improve designs as they are being developed.

Formative Evaluations rely on speed and collaboration. The analysis and recommendations usually occur immediately after the test with key stakeholders agreeing what design changes should be made.

What it provides

The purpose of a Formative Evaluation is to support designers as they develop task flows and design layouts. They are used to quickly assess how well the designs support users as they try to achieve critical tasks. They can also be used to discover how users would prefer a design to work and to test different design alternatives.

Formative Evaluations save time and money. By removing design errors early on and potentially identifying missing requirements, designs can quickly be changed before more expensive visual design and development activities begin.