A clickable prototype is more or like the same as a wireframe or a mock-up. But additionally it allows respondents to click from screen to screen and by that navigate through your solution.
It’s tested in a qualitative manner. You observe how respondents use the prototype, what screens they visit, what buttons they push, etc. Make sure they think out loud, so you can ask why they do what they do.
When you want to test the flow of the purchase of an item for example. Your solution might need a:
A submit button
A screen to search for an item
An option to filter your findings
A screen to add a new item
Before building all of that, it’s very important to know what the best user flow would be. A clickable prototype helps you to visualize this flow. But more importantly, it helps you to test the flow with your customers and adjust accordingly to your findings.
A clickable prototype should not be the end-product, and should not have that look and feel as well. It is about learning, not about getting it right the first time. So it’s better to quickly test something that fails, rather than take ages to make a beautiful, highly refined prototype.
Focus on functionality and interaction, the journey from page to page, and what information is provided when. Do users know where to click? Do they get confused by a certain button? Do they understand where to log in or how to perform any other core function?
Conduct your experiment in the following steps:
Design an experiment for the clickable prototype, using an experiment card: what hypothesis are you testing with whom, and when is it successful?
Decide what elements of your product/service you want to validate: what part of the experience needs to be simulated?
Prepare the validation sessions. Recruit participants that fit your customer profile, plan the sessions, prepare interview questions, and decide how you want to collect feedback.
Conduct the clickable prototype sessions. Ask the participants to imagine a fictional situation and to complete a goal. Let them experience the prototype without any help to observe their first reaction. Stimulate the participants to think out loud, so you know what drives their behavior. Do so by asking questions like: what do you see? Can you describe what you are doing? In the end, ask questions about their experience.
Assure the participants that the prototype is just a tool to learn and not the final version of the product. This will help you in capturing honest feedback, even negative feedback.
Analyze the results of the sessions, by clustering interesting insights. Capture all learnings, indicate whether you confirmed/rejected your hypothesis, and decide how you will continue.