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Parallel vs serial

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  • William Pietri
    Yesterday I met a HCI prof at Stanford, Scott Klemmer , who has done some neat research:
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 13, 2009
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      Yesterday I met a HCI prof at Stanford, Scott Klemmer, who has done some neat research:

      http://hci.stanford.edu/research/prototyping

      In particular, I thought " The Effect of Parallel Prototyping on Design Performance, Learning, and Self-Efficacy" was relevant here.

      They had designers produce 6 versions of an ad. Half started with 1 version and iterated. The other half started with 3, iterated once on the best 2, and then iterated once more on 1. They took the final ad from each designer and ran them on MySpace.

      It turns out that the parallel efforts yielded noticeably better results in click-through, time on site, and bounce rate. Interestingly, the designers also responded better to feedback in the parallel case.

      I've often told clients that teams with exactly one idea are at more risk than teams with zero or multiple ideas, and it's interesting to see that at least partially backed up by research. This also fits in nicely with the extensive A/B testing I see more and more teams doing.

      William
    • Adrian Howard
      ... [snip] Interesting - and matches my experiences. I think many design folk have already latched on to the fact that parallelism works. For example you have
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 14, 2009
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        On 14 Oct 2009, at 01:40, William Pietri wrote:

        > Yesterday I met a HCI prof at Stanford, Scott Klemmer <http://hci.stanford.edu/%7Esrk
        > >, who has done some neat research:
        >
        > http://hci.stanford.edu/research/prototyping
        >
        > In particular, I thought " / The Effect of Parallel Prototyping on
        > Design Performance, Learning, and Self-Efficacy <http://hci.stanford.edu/publications/2009/EffectOfParallelPrototyping.pdf
        > >"/ was relevant here.
        >
        > They had designers produce 6 versions of an ad. Half started with 1
        > version and iterated. The other half started with 3, iterated once
        > on the best 2, and then iterated once more on 1. They took the final
        > ad from each designer and ran them on MySpace.
        >
        > It turns out that the parallel efforts yielded noticeably better
        > results in click-through, time on site, and bounce rate.
        > Interestingly, the designers also responded better to feedback in
        > the parallel case.
        >
        > I've often told clients that teams with exactly one idea are at more
        > risk than teams with zero or multiple ideas, and it's interesting to
        > see that at least partially backed up by research. This also fits in
        > nicely with the extensive A/B testing I see more and more teams doing.
        [snip]

        Interesting - and matches my experiences. I think many design folk
        have already latched on to the fact that parallelism works. For
        example you have the "double diamond" design process promoted by the
        Design Council in the UK (http://is.gd/4jdaz) where you have two
        cycles of exploring multiple solutions and then narrowing them back
        down again.

        Cheers,

        Adrian
        --
        http://quietstars.com - twitter.com/adrianh - delicious.com/adrianh
      • amber_derosa@vanguard.com
        William, I agree testing multiple designs is a great way to iterate on an idea. You may be interested in an upcoming prototyping book by Todd Zaki Warfel
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 14, 2009
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          William,

          I agree testing multiple designs is a great way to iterate on an idea.
          You may be interested in an upcoming prototyping book by Todd Zaki Warfel published by Rosenfeld Media.
          Todd discusses the value of multiple designs and testing out a hypothesis early and often.

          http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/prototyping/
          http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/prototyping/info/table_of_contents/

          Quotes from the book
          "Prototypes are a great communication tool for fleshing out design ideas, testing assumptions, and gathering real-time feedback from users."
          "If a picture is worth a thousand words, than an interactive prototype is worth 10,000. Prototypes have the power to show, not just tell."



          Amber DeRosa

          Amber DeRosa
          Vanguard Group
          Usability Engineer
          Email: Amber_DeRosa@...
          Phone: 610-503-8503

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