Prototyping and Testing



Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve come up with an incredible idea for an app or website. It can’t miss. And yet, many do simply because assumptions we make about how easy our design is to use are completely lost on the consumer. The safety net in this phase of introducing a new product, app, or site is the ability to make a prototype that’s very close to the real thing and then ask potential users to put it through its paces.

Extra $45 fee for new students / non members


The beauty of prototyping — especially today with the abundance of tools available — is that it allows you to see quickly and cost-effectively if there are major usability flaws in your design. So, in this class, we’ll investigate methods for getting design insight as early in the process as possible while covering these topics:

  • Using low-fidelity, pen-and-paper prototyping to catch issues and iterate
  • Tools and materials for creating low- and high-fidelity prototypes
  • Testing prototypes vs. live products
  • Working with developers in the creation of prototypes
  • Usability testing best practices
  • Setting your metrics and reporting results

Prerequisites – Must have taken Fundamentals of UX, User Research, Information Architecture or by permission.

Who Should Take This Class

This class is for aspiring UX professionals or for those already working in the field who would like to increase their knowledge of best practices for prototyping methods and testing.

Detailed Class Outline

The beauty of prototyping and testing is that it allows you to quickly and cost-effectively learn whether a design provides value to your users. It can also identify usability flaws at an early stage in the process when these issues are cheap and easy to fix. So, in this class, we’ll investigate methods for getting insights like this as early in the process as possible through prototyping and user testing.

Week 1: Overview

  • Prototyping and testing process
  • Prototyping overview
    • Examples
    • “Prototype” definition
  • User testing overview
    • Examples
    • “User testing” definition
    • Observe a usability study
  • Course project overview
  • EXERCISE: Conduct a usability study with a live site
  • HOMEWORK: Choose a course project, conduct competitive user test

Week 2: Prototyping

  • Design primer
  • Facets of fidelity
  • Methods
  • Tools
  • EXERCISE: Build a paper prototype
  • HOMEWORK: Continue work on your paper prototype

Week 3: User testing

  • User research primer
  • Bias and rigor
  • User testing protocol
  • EXERCISE: Test your paper prototype
  • HOMEWORK: Build a high-fidelity prototype

Week 4: Prototyping and user testing continued

  • Other user testing methods
  • Other tools for user testing (remote testing)
  • Reporting on findings
  • EXERCISE: Test your high-fidelity prototype
  • EXERCISE: Write a full test plan
  • HOMEWORK: Continue to test and iterate on high-fidelity prototype

Week 5: Present findings and prototype

  • EXERCISE: Present your findings and prototype
  • Special topics in prototyping and user testing
  • How to socialize your findings
  • Working with developers
  • Transitioning to a test and iterate culture
  • Participatory design
  • Impression testing


You may receive a partial refund of your tuition if you drop a class or your enrollment is terminated by SVC due to lack of progress or disciplinary problems. In these cases, this is the schedule for determining the amount of your refund:

Cancellation and Refund Policy for Classes:

SVC will refund all money paid if the student is not accepted. This includes instances where a class is cancelled by the school.

SVC will refund all the money paid if the student cancels within five business days (excluding Sundays and holidays) after registration and/or an initial payment is made, as long as the student has not begun training.

SVC will retain the established $45 registration fee if the student cancels after the fifth business day after registration and/or making an initial payment.

If training is terminated after the student enters classes, SVC may retain the registration fee established under (3) of this subsection, plus a percentage of the total tuition as described in the following table:


# of Classes Attended

% Tuition Refunded

0 100%
1 75%
2 50%
3+ 0%


# of Classes Attended

% Tuition Refunded

0 100%
1 90%
2 75%
3–5 50%
6+ 0%

When calculating refunds, the official date of a student's termination is the last day of recorded attendance:

(a) When the school receives notice of the student's intention to discontinue the training program; or,
(b) When the student is terminated for a violation of a published school policy which provides for termination; or,
(c) When a student, without notice, fails to attend classes for thirty calendar days.

All refunds must be paid within thirty calendar days of the student’s official termination date.

There is a $75 cancellation fee for no-shows and enrollees dropping a one-day workshop without a valid excuse within 3 business days of the scheduled start time as published on the SVC website.

This refund policy is in accordance with Washington State Law, 490-105-130 (RCW 28C.10.050 (1)(b)).

School of Visual Concepts

SVC helps people already in the business of marketing, branding, design, UX, and content creation fill in the gaps in their knowledge through public full- and half-day workshops and custom corporate workshops.

If you’re looking to add to your portfolio or fill in some blank spaces in your brain, you can’t do much better than SVC.

The instructors are all top-notch working professionals who bring real world and big brand knowledge into the classroom. Our thinking is that the best people to teach you something aren't teachers. So, instead of a full-time faculty, our classes and workshops are taught by working professionals. More often than not, these are people at the top of their game, not wannabes or used-to-be-best. The connections you'll make with these pros can sometimes be as valuable as the material they'll teach you.

All this happens in an environment of friendliness, helpfulness and encouragement. Might this have something to do with the fact that 99% of SVC students say they’d recommend us?

We’re 100% certain that it does.

More classes from School of Visual Concepts

  • Class schedule to be determined soon - please enter your email if you wish to be contacted when the schedule is released.

Reviews of School of Visual Concepts

(5 Reviews)
Garth P.
Let's see... you could spend $400 on the newest iProduct, which will be unsexy and outdated within months of its unboxing, or you could spend $400 on making your brain permanently bigger, sexier, smarter and more creative. I can honestly say that I would not be in the job I'm in - nor anywhere near as successful at what I do - without the skills I learned at SVC. Whatever class you're considering or on the fence about taking: TAKE IT. You'll be a better person for it. I've taken classes nearly every quarter since graduating from UW in 2011, and I'd say that I now use more knowledge that I gained at SVC than UW in my everyday work as a Digital Marketing Manager. When you walk into SVC, you're walking into a place with good, everyone-is-here-to-improve-themselves-and-meet-­other-creative-peeps vibes, and it feels more at home than a typical classroom. I can't say enough good things about SVC or how it has enabled and enhanced my career and personal pursuits. Take a class there and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about as you sign up for your next three.
Randy J.
This School is a treasure for Seattle. The teachers are all working in their fields and so students can meet people and learn from the real deal. My daughter took classes here for a year and a half and was never disappointed in the teaching. These classes are meant to increase skills at current jobs or prepare you for a new area. I am not a designer but decided to take a beginning drawing/creativity class at SVC and the teacher is WAY above and beyond what I expected in terms of thinking about creativity and thinking about your emotions and roadblocks to creativity. Plus they have a snack bar that is over the top!!
Nio S.
First off, this school is simply amazing. Don't fooled by the size of this campus because the quality of the knowledge aquired here is unmeasurable. I have taken the HTML/CSS classes both level 1 and 2 courses. The instructors that teach here are actual working professionals outside of the school. So in many ways this benefits the student because the teacher is up to date with their skill set aside from a full time teacher who only knows whats written in text books. I first came to my HTML/CSS class thinking it was gonna be boring with just coding. is just coding but its code that I truly understand and get a grasp of to my own advantage. Each of these classes were only once a week for 5 weeks. The amount of knowledge given in one night is so crazy and unbelievably not overwhelming. In the end, you know more than you did before.
Panda B.
I love SVC! Thing I like the best is that all instructors are practicing designers so you will not be getting the "academic" perspective but rather the point of view of designers working at actual top-notch design studios around Seattle. I've been taking classes for over a year and every single one has been fantastic. Students tend to be professionals so the attitude is serious and focused which enables you to get the most out of each class. On top of that, staff at the school is fantastic and will do anything to help you achieve your goals (they helped me with my portfolio which helped in landing me my new job). If you are looking for a way to upgrade your design skills, this is the place for you.
Kenny P.
My experience at the School of Visual Concepts has been amazing. It's the perfect school for those of us who have a full time job, but still want to improve our skills. The teachers are all professionals in Seattle so it's really nice to be taught by people that are still at the top of their game. The class sizes are also pretty small so you'll get to know your instructor very well and get some great individual help. You do not have to be an artist to benefit from the classes here. I took a creative thinking seminar once that has helped me in every job I've had. If you are thinking about going back to school, you should give SVC a call or stop by to see how they can help you get to where you want to be.