Adjust prototypes to the risks at hand
There are actually 2 knobs to turn when choosing your test in product discovery
A principle in product discovery that’s always worth a refresh: we must adjust our prototyping to the risks at hand.
When we’re adjusting discovery to the risks, there's actually two different sub-points:
(1) *Type*: adjust the test/prototype to the type of risk. If you have mostly usability risk, don't make a feasibility-oriented prototype.
(2) *Level*: adjust the test/prototype to deliver the level of confidence needed to offset the level of risk. If your value risk is only a level 3/10, you don't need a prototype which delivers 9/10 confidence and likely requires level 9 effort. This is where the idea of 1 and 2-way doors is useful. My friend Emerson shared a great visualization of adjusting the level:
In practice, your team will end up picking a test/prototype based on the combination of these factors. But they are distinct factors. There are many, many types of prototypes/tests to choose from in the metaphorical toolbelt, but this is foundational for how to think through.