Real users, real testing – introducing MOMO Express


Children and young people in Havering have been testing the first MOMO Express prototype.

MOMO Express?

MOMO Express is the new name for the (in-development) version of MOMO for children and young people with learning disabilities and replaces the working title of ‘MOTO’. This article is a glimpse into what the MOMO Express prototype is trying to achieve, and more importantly, what we found out from testing it.

Testing, not creating

Last time, at the co-creation session in Tyneside, the young people took part in creative “Let’s imagine…” and “If you were using an app…” hypothetically based exercises. This time, however, was very different with each ‘tester’ given the prototype to try on an iPad with their parent or a worker.

The prototype tried to achieve several objectives, each one also being a success criteria to measure against:

  • Users are able to easily navigate through the prototype
  • Interactions are intuitive
  • Users are able to engage with the content
  • Content structure is useful for workers
  • Content and interactions are accessible
  • Users are able to understand and respond to the activities
  • The app concept can be successfully co-used (by a child and their worker together)

Low fidelity prototype

The prototype itself was deliberately low fidelity in nature. Prototyping in this way minimises the amount of technical development required while maximising the potential for learning about user needs and behaviours before a line of code is written.

MOMO Express prototype testing

Screenshots of the prototype. No visual design has been applied.

Short co-use sessions

Each young person took part in a 20 minute session accompanied by an adult. In order to replicate a co-use situation they were asked to use the prototype together. The sessions generated lots of learning, including:

  • Most participants seemed interested in the device itself
  • Participants seemed to engage well with different types of activities in the prototype.
  • Too many visual elements on one screen can be confusing
  • Co-using the prototype with an adult stimulated conversation about the prototype’s questions
  • Young people engaged better with visual cues that they could relate to (e.g. images of daily activities)
  • Not all tablet interactions are user friendly. We still have more to learn about what works well, is intuitive and user friendly.
  • In a co-use scenario, it helps if an adult encourages the young person to respond rather than responding on their behalf so that the child is able to be more honest (e.g. telling the young person to ‘take their time’ rather than suggesting a response)

The Alpha is coming…

Team MOMO is now turning the prototype into an ‘alpha’ version of MOMO Express while at the same time the children’s illustrator Tim Bradford is creating some of its visual design. Next month we’ll be back in Havering testing the alpha with more young people.

Stay tuned for more MOMO Express updates in the run up to launch at the end of the year. Request a MOMO Express info pack here.

Manjul Rathee, Service Designer at MOMO