Wizard of OZ prototyping

Reviewing the video lectures in HCI course published by Stanford professors on Coursera, I’ve learnt about the Wizard of OZ technique. The idea is that something is being shown as a functionality/feature while in reality it’s being handled/done by a Wizard behind the scene.

More information can be found here

In reality we have been using this technique very often, especially during demos. The idea is to code/implement a limited set of scenarios and demonstrate them only without a demonstration of anything not functional. The key difference is that, in the lecture the professor mentions it’s best to tell the truth and inform about the gaps at the end of the experiment but in reality this is something we don’t do.

The lecturer also compares low-fidelity vs high-fidelity prototypes. The point is to use low-fidelity at the start of the project to attract criticism and comments and eventually target to a highly usable and attractive product. Users are more reluctant to criticize or voice their concerns about flaws when something is done nicely even though it’s buggy or half-cooked