Chapter 5. The Execution Phase (How to Put Your Experiments into Action)

IN CHAPTER 4, WE focused on the importance of generating multiple hypotheses and also showed you how to evaluate and select the hypotheses you want to focus on. In this chapter, we will focus on the discussion of how to “design” hypotheses. Before we dive into the main part of this chapter, we want to underscore a couple of points.

First, we want to reemphasize the importance of not jumping too quickly to narrow and specific solutions; hastily moving to premature solutions is a common problem we’ve encountered time and again in the design process. This is a natural tendency for us all—we want to dive in and get working on the problem, designing elegant solutions, as soon as possible! And, of course, this tendency is exacerbated by pressing project timelines.

Second, we note that, even though we’ve separated hypothesis generation and designing your hypothesis into two separate chapters in this book, these two activities often go hand in hand.

Following the framework for experimentation outlined in Chapter 3, this chapter is focused on the execution phase (outlined in dashes in Figure 5-1).

This is where we take the hypotheses that you’ve defined and selected and then craft them into the test cells, which will make up the core of your experiments.

Through experimentation, in design practice we can test out a broad range of ideas that we may otherwise dismiss too early in more traditional product development processes. ...

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