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woman listening to man and taking notesAs you design your intervention's activities and components, continue getting audience feedback about your choices. It is easy to veer off track, and checking in with the audience is helpful. Pretesting is something that you should think about throughout phase 4. You may want to start pretesting when you develop your initial plans for your program's activities, or you may want to wait until you have more concrete plans for where and when activities will take place.

If you have a budget for formative research, you may want to reserve a portion of it for pretesting. Once you have an idea about what your program or materials will look like, it is no time to start ignoring the opinions and feedback of the audience. Pretesting is just as important as formative research, and can even be viewed as a continuation of your formative research.


No matter how well you pretest, you won't have it perfect the first time. But, learn from your mistakes, fix them, and keep improving what you offer the target audience. It may never be perfect, but will be more effective each time if you listen and respond. On a long-term basis, pretesting can become part of your process evaluation plan.