tool description

This tool takes the name from the story The Wizard f Oz, more specifically it takes the name from the figure of the character under the curtain. It is a technique derived from the information technology that is used in order to test a product or a service in a detailed way by observing the interaction of a potential user with the object without revealing the evaluator’s presence.

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(2004) L. Molin, Wizard-of-Oz prototyping for co-operative interaction design of graphical user interfaces. In Proceedings of the Third Nordic Conference on Human-Computer interaction, Tampere, Finland, ACM Press, New York.
(2006) D. Akers, Wizard of Oz for participatory design: inventing a gestural interface for 3D selection of neural pathway estimates. In CHI ’06 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Tijn Kooijmans, Wouter Reeskamp, Anouk Slegers, Katrien Ploegmakers

The Department of Industrial Design of the University of Technology Eindhoven used the Wizard of Oz methodology while designing a device for Tele-dermatology, a device that would be used by health workers in rural India. When working with users who are not experienced with digital products, mid-fidelity prototypes become very useful: in this case the screen of a computer showed direct feedbacks reflecting the actions of the user interacting with the physical prototype of the device.
The interactive ‘Wizard of Oz’ experiment made it possible for the participants to try and compare different alternatives and for the designers to gather comments and feedback.
In this way, the prototypes proved to be a good vehicle of communication between the participants during a design event.