Rochester Tech Startups Presentation: Wizard of Oz Prototyping

Wizard of Oz Prototyping – Evaluating user feedback from products that do not exist

Presenter: Brian O’Keefe
When: 16 January 2013
Where: Student Innovation Hall, RIT
Time: 6:30-7:30

Rochester Tech Startups

The Wizard of Oz (WoZ) prototyping technique is used in the Usability Engineering course in the MS Human Computer Interaction program at RIT. The WoZ technique is designed to evaluate user interactions with a potential system, device or service without actually building a system. Buxton and his colleagues have been looking at Wizard of Oz user experience design techniques for sometime (Greedberg 2012). Although not intended to measure longitudinal user evaluations, the WoZ technique can be used to quickly validate aspects of a new or emerging technology without building a real system. This enables designers to cut significant cost and time to evaluate high level user responses to accepting, perceiving or potentially using a new product. There are controversial aspects of the WoZ technique, e.g. whether people should be aware that they are being “fooled” into thinking they are interacting with a real system (Mival 2009). There are ethical issues involved in fooling people, but some research argue participants need to believe the simulation is real, else data is skewed. Visiting Assistant Professor, Brian O’Keefe, Ph.D., will be presenting his research and student examples of the WoZ technique and how it has played an important role in evaluating results from prototypes that do not yet exist.

[1]     Greenberg, S., Carpendale, S., Marquardt, N., Buxton, B. Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook, MA: Morgan Kaufmann, 2012.

[2]     Mival, O., Bradley,. Benyon, D. 2009. Wizard of Oz experiments for companions. In Proc. BCSHCI 2009. ACM Press 2009, 313-317.

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