Validation Testing


To obtain a list of 20 new idea/product validation methods to use with real users, as well as a step by step process of how to do it and key metrics to look for, in order to determine the best way to validate a new idea.

Early Findings

  • Some possible methods for validating a new product idea are online research, online feedback groups, interview the target market, create a prototype, and sell before building.
  • Mozilla provided several methods of validating an idea including a participatory workshop, physical pitching survey, A/B testing, online survey, and landing page test.
  • A Better Lemonade Stand also provided a list of validation methods: research keyword volume, order and sell samples, launch a crowdfunding campaign (the same as sell before building above), build a landing page, offer pre-orders, check Google trends, determine geographic relevance, observe social chatter, conduct competitor research, open a test store, review case studies, consult forums, run ads, build an audience, and consult influencers.
  • Some additional ideas from Plug and Play are an explainer video, writing guest posts for large blogs, online groups and forums, creating content for social media, and writing a column for a publication.
  • Wizard of Oz validation testing is when a prototype that "act like" a future product is created so potential consumers can interact with it.
  • Based on the ideas uncovered, the following seem to allow for direct feedback from users: online feedback groups, interview the target market, crowdfunding, participatory workshop, physical pitching survey, A/B testing, online survey, landing page test, order and sell samples, take pre-orders, open a test store, run ads, consult influencers, explainer video, Wizard of Oz, create content for social media, research keyword volume, check Google trends, build and test a prototype, and observe social chatter.


  • Groups are usually about 7-10 people who do not know each other, but represent the specific target demographic an idea/product is trying to reach. The small sample size means that the results obtained are qualitative.
  • Fortune 500 companies spend about 70% of their marketing dollars on focus groups.
  • The main steps involved are planning the group, finding participants, developing questions, and analyzing the results.

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.
As our initial research uncovered 20 methods that can be used to validate an idea/product with users, we propose continuing the research to provide the requested details. For each of the methods listed in the final bullet before the Online Focus Groups heading, we propose providing a description of what it is, why it is effective, what can be learned from it, a step-by-step explanation of how to conduct the process (in more detail than what was provided for focus groups so far), and what to look for when analyzing the results of the test.
Alternatively, we can provide a 2-3 sentence description of each of the 20 methods found. This would not include details on how to conduct the test or the metrics to examine, but would instead be a general overview of what it is and why it is helpful for validation testing.