Definition

Wizard of Oz prototyping

Contributor(s): Nicole Laskowski

Wizard of Oz prototyping (WOZ prototyping) is a design methodology used in rapid product development to improve the user experience (UX). 

WOZ prototyping requires developers to create a rudimentary model of the completed product, which is called a prototype.  The prototype may be quite simple, using every-day objects to represent parts of the finished product or it may be a working model, capable of performing some – but not all – of the tasks the completed product will perform. Once the prototype has been created, developers use role playing to test how end users will interact with the product.

The WOZ methodology requires three things: a script that provides directions for what is to take place, a person to play the role of the end user and a human “wizard” that will perform tasks that will simulates the behavior of the completed product. The person playing the end user may -- or may not know -- that they are playing a role or that the wizard’s tasks are being performed manually by a human being instead of by a machine or computer program. 

Wizard of Oz prototyping is often used in agile software development and lean programming to improve how business rules are implemented in software. After each iteration, anecdotal feedback and data is gathered and analyzed to help improve the next round of development. The test-and-learn cycle is repeated until development is concluded. 

The term Wizard of Oz protoyyping is credited to usability expert Dr. Jeff Kelley, who was inspired by the scene in the movie The Wizard of Oz in which Toto the dog pulls back a curtain to reveal that the wizard is actually a man who is flipping switches and pulling levers.

This was last updated in September 2014

Continue Reading About Wizard of Oz prototyping

Dig Deeper on Enterprise application development, DevOps and software agility

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Where does Wizard of Oz prototyping come in handy in your organization?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchHealthIT

SearchCloudComputing

SearchMobileComputing

SearchDataCenter

Close