April 2024
ISSN 2148-7278
Volume: 10 Issue: 1


GLOKALde April 2024, ISSN 2148-7278 Volume: 10  Issue: 1, Article 3

ENHANCING UNDERGRADUATE UX EDUCATION WITH WIZARD OF OZ AND PAPER PROTOTYPING

Anas ELHAG, PhD
ORCID: 0000-0002-3044-1515
University of Doha for Science and Technology
Doha, Qatar
[email protected]

ABSTRACT

The Wizard of Oz (WoZ) usability testing method, inspired by a key scene from L. Frank Baum's classic, simulates system functions manually without user awareness. This approach allows designers to refine concepts prior to full implementation, proving essential in early product development stages. Users interact with a seemingly operational system, but a human "wizard" covertly adjusts it in response to their actions. This method supports moderated UX research sessions, with a “facilitator” guiding user and a "wizard" managing system responses. Applied in various fields, from voice assistants to e-commerce, it enables cost-effective, flexible, and focused testing. The integration of paper prototyping further enhances the method's efficacy, offering a tangible, interactive means of validating early-stage designs. Combined, the WoZ method and paper prototyping yield quick user feedback, promoting iterative design. Despite its strengths, paper prototyping has limitations, yet its collaborative nature fosters team cohesion and user involvement. This paper demonstrates a combined application of the Wizard of Oz method and paper prototyping to offer an approach for instructing undergraduate students in user-centered design, enabling them to engage in iterative refinement and make informed decisions in the early stages of the product development process. An assignment example illustrates the method's application in a real-world scenario, emphasizing collaboration, active participation, and comprehensive reporting. Overall, the Wizard of Oz usability testing method coupled with paper prototyping offers a robust framework for user-centered design, enabling iterative refinement and informed decision-making in product development processes.

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