Prototyping alternative scenarios


Hi there,

At the moment our ux process involves among other things a functional specification document (contains use cases) written by our business analyst.

Now, I want to start doing prototypes to do some guerrilla user testing in the office.

The question is 1) is it fine to build a small prototype (like with invision) based on each use case?
2) the user cases often contain alternative scenarios, should I include them in my prototype as well?



Hi Gideon,

My question to you is what are you looking to get out of your guerrilla user testing? Are you trying to confirm the process, or one particular design over another? etc
What you are trying to get information on should be the driver behind what you prototype to test.

For instance, you may want to find out whether your workflow works for your user. As part of this edge cases are not as important as testing the overall behaviour and workflow.
If your designs are for the development team (or to yourselves to prove things work) then prototyping edge cases can be important.


In addition to what Natalie has suggested, you should also remember that the goal of user research (and usability testing a prototype is a form of research) is to understand your users better. So what assumptions are you making about your users that you need to validate?

Also keep in mind that creating a series of isolated prototypes might be useful for testing individual use cases, but if you were able to put together a more comprehensive prototype that accounted for a range of use cases in one, it’s going to be a more [I]believable[/I] prototype, and will allow the user to explore, discover and “play” (and hopefully do something you weren’t expecting). People are non-linear, so if you just create a prototype that lets them do one thing and blocks everything else, then you’re not going to learn as much because you’re already funnelling them down a certain path. Of course you have to give them a task to complete, but you may be missing some of the biggest opportunities to gain insights about how your users think.

Hope that helps.


Hey guys,

Thanks so much for your advice I really appreciate it!

I think for me there’s a couple of reasons I want to start with user testing in a guerrilla fashion.
We don’t do ANY user testing at the moment (don’t shoot me) and in a country like SA it’s a bit of a problem because we’re often a bit ‘behind’ in terms of tech and methodology.
So I’m trying to take baby steps with management to ease them into the habit of doing user testing even if at first I don’t necessarily gain real user insights.

@Natalie_Eustace I think I might need to test the workflow of the app first. I haven’t been involved with the app from the start and I’m fairly certain the general IA and flow is overcomplicated and also plain boring. BTW here’s a link to the current version -

@mattymcg The one thing I’m not sure is the one feature I would like to test is very peer to peer dependant (notifications etc.) So I would have to fake these and almost create a bit of a linear experience just to test the basics?


Thanks @mattymcg it makes a lot of sense. I strikes me that prototyping experiences that have an element of omnichannel is not so straight forward. Any advice on how to test for that?


Hmmm, cross-channel experiences were very much the topic of conversation in yesterday’s “Ask The UXperts” chat with Dan Willis, and I asked Dan a similar question. We’ve posted a full transcript which is worth a read. It doesn’t answer your question, and I don’t have a good answer for you. But the main thing to consider is that you need to focus on testing the most common (“red routes”) ways that people will interact. Once you’re confident that group of people have been taken care of, you can think about edge cases/channels.