For students we give some suggestions for tools that are free of charge for private use.
Rapid prototyping tools
We use Balsamiq https://balsamiq.com
Students might like Figma. For Axure there is a free of charge alternative for students http://www.axure.com/edu
...or Marvel, which is a free web and app prototyping tool. From 2022 our students use Justinmind.
Adobe offers the Adobe XD (Experience Design) for prototyping and wireframing.
MockFlow, an online wireframing and prototyping tool. Offers a free "Basic"-subscription.
UI Goodies is a collection of resources (tools icons, fake data etc.) for prototyping.
Free trial versions:
Paper prototypes for mobiles are nicely drawn with this aid:
POP "POP helps you to transform your pen + paper ideas into a real working prototype."
UI Tiles "Wireframes & Flowcharts Kit"
Sketching and wireframing templates. Site maps by GlooMaps, diagrammes by Draw.io.
Sketching for better mobile experiences
Wizard of Oz in this scheme of things.
The Real Dropbox http://vimeo.com/73668269
(note: these are just inspiration and examples, you might want to do your videos completely different)
by Therese Fessenden published by NN/g July 31, 2022.
Demonstrate Thinking Aloud by Showing Users a Video
"Show a 1-minute demo video to your test participants to teach them how to think aloud in a usability study and give you more useful information."
Regardless of which prototyping tool / method you use, it is good to think through how to get several people to participate in your evaluations, e.g. usability tests, of the prototype. Here is a tip from the Nielsen Norman Group: How and Why to Recruit Backup Participants (aka “Floaters”) in User Research
Remote control / Sharing computer screen
Our students (and researchers at KAU) should use Zoom.
But there are many more...
TeamViewer - the All-In-One Software for Remote Support and Online Meetings.
ESM - Experience Sampling Method by smartphones
We have from previous experiments an Android app and a mobile server to run data collection in the field during several weeks from a large number of test participants. This can be adapted to new thesis works and other experiments
Open publications within interaction design
See Interaction Design Foundation where a lot of reading is for free and the annual fee gives access to all courses.
Best of all are NN/g Norman Nielsen Group's newsletter and article database.
For instance, when you found out Why Personas Fail, you can see a video on how to Bringing Personas to Agile or read up on how to Segment Analytics Data Using Personas. And there are many articles on doing usability evaluations as well as results from NN/g's high-quality usability evaluations of most features of webs and apps.
Good thoughts on pilot testing (general also for questionnaires, interviews etc.):
Malmqvist, J., Hellberg, K., Möllås, G., Rose, R., & Shevlin, M. (2019). Conducting the Pilot Study: A Neglected Part of the Research Process? Methodological Findings Supporting the Importance of Piloting in Qualitative Research Studies. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406919878341