There are 3 different approaches you can take for testing your application:
1) Quick and dirty WOZ experiment
Use what you have. All you need is your sample dialogs (which you should already have at this point). Simply find someone unfamiliar with your project (e.g., family, friends, colleagues) and ask them to role-play your dialog with you—you’ll read your persona’s lines and observe how they react as the user. If the user goes “off script”, feel free to improvise what your persona would say.
2) Standard WOZ experiment
For the most realistic experience, simulate the persona’s role by playing the persona’s prompts using the TTS Simulator in the Actions on Google Developer Console. Download the audio to have it ready to play on demand. Note: if the TTS doesn’t sound good, rewrite the prompt or use SSML to change its performance.
This version requires four things:
- A conversation script that provides directions on what the persona should say after each user response. The high-level flow (or a simplified version of it) is ideal for this.
- Downloaded audio of all the persona’s spoken prompts. Use file names that will help you quickly identify the correct file to play.
- Someone to play the “user”. This should be someone who’s unfamiliar with your Action.
- Someone to play the “wizard”. This should be someone highly familiar with your Action.
Have the wizard start the conversation by playing the audio for your Action’s greeting, for example, “Welcome to your launchpad for all things Google I/O. The festival's underway right now. Are you one of the lucky attendees?” The wizard will then wait for the user to respond, hopefully with a synonym of “yes” or “no”. Once the user has responded, the wizard will have to quickly consult the high level-flow to determine what prompt to play next, then find and play the correct audio file.
3) Standard usability experiment
Of course, once you’ve started building your Action, you should test it often using the the Actions Simulator in the Actions on Google Developer Console. Have your friends, family, or colleagues test it too!
No matter what experiment you use, be sure to do the following:
Talk it out
Since your goal is to update your design to reflect what works best for real users, you want your WOZ prototype to be as close to reality as possible. What looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily sound or feel natural in real conversation, so make sure users are hearing your prompts and speaking their response.
Record your sessions
Get permission to record your sessions so you can go back and listen to them. Take note of any issues that arose during the session.
Ask for feedback
Ask the user to describe their experience in their own words. How did it meet or fail to meet their expectations? Did anything surprise them? Were they satisfied? Remember that the focus is on their behavior, not their opinion.