Prototype Review Roundup! – Colour Academy Books

Over the past two months, 10 partially completed books have been out in the field getting tested! We test and review our products thoroughly so we know we’re selling the best book possible. This post summarises the findings and insights I gathered after meeting with testers to discuss the book to date.

Following the key insights of the November focus group, we pivoted to an education only product, all evaluational questions were removed. We also created a clearer page layout style, with space for the user to add their own notes. I wanted to test how this new style held up over a period of time.

Our review group was comprised of 17-23-year-olds, all actively practising for the Car Theory Test. If you’d like to be a part of the next review group (whatever age you are) in September/October 2018, get in contact! 📝

Thank you to the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network who supplied the grant money to produce these prototypes, and of course to the reviewers!


1 – It’s Taking Too Long! ⏰

Many users showed a lack of motivation for illustrations that take a long time to colour. This is usually due to complex drawings or large open spaces in the illustration, such as the sky. Having to colour a lot of tarmac solid grey was also highlighted as being particularly boring.

Key illustrations are easier to identify and you will use ‘road colour’ pencil!

I had to speed up the learning process, make illustrations clearer and reduce boring drawing. Because of this, the following changes were made:

  • Background illustrations are now coloured in 15% grey, with humorous elements left uncoloured to allow the user to customise the page.
  • Road tarmac is now coloured in 25% grey. This has the added benefit of making the road markings and key illustrations stand out.
  • The night sky is now coloured in 40% grey, helping to communicate the time of day to the user.

2 – Road Signs – Knowing the Correct Colours 🎨

Small text updates provide clarity to the road signs

When asked if they were ever confused using the book, testers said they had to cross-check to make sure their road signs were coloured correctly. Although the book does provide the correct colour, it does not mention the location of the colour. Sign descriptions were updated from “This red and white warning sign…” to “This sign with a red border and white background…”.

3 – Better Linking for Information and Illustrations 🎓

Whilst interviewing, I asked users to talk me through a step by step process of how they would use a page. Some preferred the pattern read a learning point > colour the illustration > read a learning point > colour the illustration. However, some mentioned they read all the information > colour all illustrations. I was concerned users would ignore the written learning points, and just colour the book.

New style shown in point 1, old style shown in point 2 & 3

To remind users of the learning points while they were colouring, I updated to the number bubbles from a filled grey to an outline grey. Users will be prompted to ‘link’ an illustration to a learning point by colouring in the number bubble. This way, the user is reminded there is text to read, and not just colouring to do!

  • Review Update Summary:
    • Flipped number bubbles from fill to outline.
    • Pregreyed road, night sky and background.
    • Added better descriptions for road signs.
    • Small error corrections where noted.
    • Better prepared to design more pages!