User Testing: A Comprehensive Guide
User testing is becoming more and more crucial for product teams, who are aiming at developing well and truly user-focused products. So, the key goal of any user testing is to provide data to the design process from the point of the end-user.
In our article, we will talk about the concept of user testing and formulate four methods of effective usability testing along with according recommendations when you should use these methods.
- WHAT IS USER TESTING?
- WHY DO WE NEED USER TESTING?
- Things to keep in mind for user testing
- How to do user testing?
- TOP FOUR METHODS OF USER TESTING
- What is guerilla testing? (In details)
- What is the purpose of a usability test?
- Difference between usability test and user testing
- Which element is involved in conducting a usability test?
- How do you conduct user testing?
- What is the user testing method?
WHAT IS USER TESTING?
User testing is a certain technique of valuation of a product by testing it through users. Although we use “user testing”, in reality, we mean “testing of usability” because the aim of any testing is to make sure that the target audience will be able to use a product without having issues.
WHY DO WE NEED USER TESTING?
As a rule, the success of your product is assessed by analysis of whether your users can use it. Moreover, the more you decide to invest time and money in user testing, the more chances that you launch a usable product. For instance, Aarron Walter has a certain hierarchy of their user needs. This hierarchy clearly shows that their users wish to have reliable, functional, pleasurable, and usable products. Thus, we decided to make a list of four reasons why user tests can be of great help for your business and product.
- Experts can not physically know everything
However much expert experience and knowledge you may have, you still can not know everything. Even more, you can not always assess situations perfectly. The same lesson is learned by many experts in many years of their practice and you should learn too.
- Facts are more valuable than opinions
Facts can be used to fully destroy some doubtful opinions. There are a lot of cases when clients can completely ignore experts’ advice with only one phrase “ yeah you are right, however, that is only your personal opinion, isn’t it?”. Thus, user tests provide real facts. And these facts can shut opinions at any time of the day.
- Overlooking your clients is harder
Or for one thing, ignoring data gathered from your clients is harder than ignoring the advice of experts. If you see that 4 out of 5 people have big issues with using a certain feature in your product, you should be blind not to realize that you have to fix this issue. Moreover, user testing can be good in creating empathy with the users. If they have problems while they are on your websites, we can assure you it is very sad to watch. You should be part of it.
- Convincing and long-lasting proof
Some videos that can show your potential and current customers having issues with your business website, swearing at your interface? This is a great power. Such kind of video can clearly shut up even the most ego-tripping, thick-skulled, and know-it-all directors and clients during your board meetings.
Moreover, you can re-use these recordings at any step of your project. Every time the same old discussion comes up about your product usability, you just can show that recording with the phrase: “ This video of user testing is an excellent reminder of what might happen if we do this…”. Continue to do so until they believe you.
Things to keep in mind for user testing
As specialists have not created hard and fast rules on how to work with user testing, we can offer you some main recommendations that perfectly suit the topic. The most critical rule of user testing is quite simple – test as early as possible, and test frequently. So, the earlier you decide to test, the easier for you it is to make adjustments. As a result, you will have a bigger impact on the eventual quality of your product. Thus, try to take into consideration the following crucial rules:
- Do not wait until your product is fully formed
You can always test half-functional prototypes (even of low-quality ones) and design mock-ups as long as you can freely explain to test members what they need to do.
- Be consistent on your goals
Before you start your user testing, you have to ask yourself what do you need from this test and why exactly. Ensure you will only ask those questions to participants that will help you discover important insights about your product.
- Do testing with real users
Many product teams make use of a certain technique that is called dogfooding to test products. Of course, these team members use a product every day just like their targeted users. This technique can be useful for the product, however, it can not become a full replacement for real user testing. A crucial role of user testing reminds us that your team is not your users. Thus, test your product not only within your family, friends, teams but also with real and unbiased users.
- Think of quality and not about quantity
Many teams forget about user testing mainly because they think that this testing will be for sure cost- and time-consuming. In fact, most of the time, there is no need to involve a lot of people in the session. According to research from NNGroup, testing a group of five users will show more than 80% of usability issues. Moreover, you can make use of techniques like guerilla testing when you have a working prototype, go out of the office, find strangers who can be the target audience, and start your testing.
- No need to test everything at once
It just not possible to do something like that. As an alternative, concentrate on a certain area of the product and try to find issues that your users might have. A good design process should always be flexible. Abide a cycle of build, measure, and learn. Find out and fix the most burning issues in your product, collect feedback, and change accordingly.
- Engage the full product team in your testing process
Ask all team members to take part in user testing so that they will exactly see how users interact with the product and design. Such an opportunity will help your team to get a clear picture of usability issues and develop certain empathy towards their users. If all team members can not join these sessions, you can record a video of user testing and share it with the team.
How to do user testing?
There is no way to launch the perfect product and avoid user testing. User testing or usability testing is a very vital element in designing, finalizing, and launching an excellent digital product or service. The goal is to recognize the usability errors and issues, at any phase of creating a product or service, to improve the overall user experience. This is done by creating a realistic setting, and observing how representative users interact with the product in it. By doing so, you can see how your service or product is performing, what is going well with it, and more importantly, what is not.
However, the real work and the actual issue designers and product development teams face is building user testing that will recognize real problems and design bugs. This is a valid problem, as many different things affect the quality and efficiency of a usability test. Some of these variables that can devalue the final results are:
- Tight deadlines
- badly structured questions
- unclear criteria
- different testing environments
To make sure you have created a valid user test and are getting valid results a good understanding of the testing process is required. Here are some steps you can follow:
Decide on your testing goals
It is important to know what you want to achieve in testing before you plan it so that it gives you the answers to questions you truly have. Your first step in conducting a usability test must be to clearly define your testing goals. What do you want to test? What answers are you looking for?
Here is a list of possible question:
- Can the tasks be completed? If not, what stops the users from completing them? How far do they go in the process of completion before the barrier comes in?
- Were there any errors? When and why did the errors happen? Could these errors possibly be avoided? Could the user easily recover from that error? Was there a bounce-off after the error?
- How much time is required to complete each task? Do the operations take too long, or too little?
- How smoothly are the users navigating through your product? Does it have an easy flow? Was any part of the process confusing? Is it needed to eliminate or add some steps?
Whatever you decide to test, make sure to have a clear test objective before you begin, and maintain that goal as well. It takes a lot of research, planning, and preparation to do usability planning. You cannot make it as you go. Be prepared with a clear test plan before you even start.
Decide on your testing method
Now that you know your testing goals, you must choose the best route that gets you to them. There are many ways to do user testing. Here is a list of some popular methods:
Individual in-depth interviews
This is the hardest and the most time-consuming method of them all. A trained test moderator is needed to run the test, having a prepared script and task scenario on hand.
Remote user testing
This form of usability testing can be done in an ordinary setting, like home or work and it can both be moderated and unmoderated. Furthermore, remote user testing is inexpensive and goes well with small budgets.
there are 2 primary types of user testing:
- Moderated test
Moderated user testing is once the user completes set tasks on a product or service while being ascertained by an investigator (moderator) in real-time.
During a tempered user take a look at, you’ve got the power to guide, take a look at users through tasks, probe and dive deeper into issues and receive real-time feedback.
Moderated user testing has the advantage of having the ability to explore a user’s downside in real-time, however has the disadvantage of biases and facilitation.
The most cogent bias throughout tempered user testing is the Nathaniel Hawthorne result.
- Unmoderated test
Similar to a tempered Associate in Nursing untempered, the user takes a look at is that the method of distribution participants a series of situations, tasks, and queries, typically being completed in a very remote setting. E.g. the participants’ homes.
Unmoderated user testing has some nice edges over tempered studies.
Each of those terms falls beneath formative or summative.
This quote from Robert E. Stake, Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Illinois, sums it up pleasantly:
“When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative. When the guests taste the soup, that’s summative.”
in this method, the participants categorize and organize the content cards into a dendrogram which they find most reasonable.
In this method of testing, two prototypes will be set in front of a participant. The participant will then decide which alternative performs better in their opinion. The con to A/B testing is that it requires more participants than the other methods.
Eye movement tracking
a more high-tech option, this method uses tracking software to trace where the users look when they face your product and interact with it.
Focus groups centralize inner group conversations. In this method, a group of people is set in a room with a two-way mirror while discussing your product.
When choosing, keep in mind that the stage of product development you are in decides which method is best for you. Some of these methods are more suitable early on, and some work best in the final stages or on a finished product. Budget, resources, and testing facilities should also be thoroughly thought about previous to making a choice.
Targeting representative users
You must have already defined clear selection criteria before the process of recruiting users begins.
This way you will test people who represent your real users. It generally is more important to test better matches, than to test a larger quantity of people.
Usually, 3 to 5 people are enough to line out the key issues of your product or service. Section your test participants based on clear characteristics that define your perfect user persona.
For example their age, gender, where they live, education, their job and profession, their salary, how well they understand technology, and other characteristics that are extra important with your product. While asking questions to better identify your users, make sure the questions are inclusive. There must always be an option to not answer, and the questions must not be very detailed either. Asking someone for their exact income will make them lose their trust in you.
It is best to recruit people who are not familiar with your product, to get more reliable results. If a user already knows about your product, how they interact with it will be different. Their flow, their reaction when facing an error, how much they take to complete a task, etc, will be affected as well. You do not want to use your fellow employees either, as they might prefer to give false flatteries over constructive criticism to save their status.
An experienced facilitator is also required to achieve reliable testing results. This will ensure that everything goes on as planned. Having several observers to take notes is important as well so that nothing will go unnoticed.
Create operation scenarios
You mustn’t reveal how a task is completed when you are asking a participant to do it. The reason such a simple thing to forget is so important is that the way the user gets from point A to point B can clear out many things and point out errors and inconveniences. While conducting a usability test, you do not want to lead the participants to the finish line, but give them just enough information to be able to finish the task by themselves.
It is best to share as little as possible, and better to be a bit vague than too clear. The purpose of the test is to see how your product is perceived by the user after all. Telling them how it is done beats the purpose. Ask your questions as if they are a mathematical problem you want the user to solve; they just have to discover the formula.
Do not tell them how you do something, but ask them to do it, so you can observe the user flow. If you reveal too much, there will be no way to make sure the same results would be achieved.
Moreover, remember to ask them to do both open-ended, and goal-specific tasks. Through open-ended tasks, you can observe how the user freely interacts with your product, and what grabs their attention without guided interruptions. On the other hand, goal-specific tasks will demonstrate how a particular feature works and is effective. Both are valuable and must be incorporated to get a good understanding.
Recreate the same testing environment
Another important thing that is often looked over is the importance of recreating the testing environment. While this might seem over the top to some people, it is the only way to make sure you are getting accurate results. This includes what you say, how you say it when you say it, and even your tone while saying it.
That is why scripts are such effective tools. They eliminate the chances of unidentical testing environments and inconsistencies. Usually, the main reason for inconsistencies in the test facilitator and how they interact with each participant. Even the smallest inconsistency might make the biggest difference. This includes the way they greet the user, to the way they explain the task. This all builds up and makes the overall environment unreliable.
Making sense of the findings
This is the last step you were striving for all along. All that is left to do is to gather the results and answers to your questions and analyze them. How did the users interact with the product? How did they respond to the test? Were the results what you were expecting? Now is the time for group thinking and discussions and summarizing your findings with the team.
When the analysis process is over and summarized it will be time to work together to solve the issues. Prioritize the problems, identify potential solutions and plan strategies to improve the user experience.
TOP FOUR METHODS OF USER TESTING
Guerilla testing is one of the easiest forms of usability testing. If a UX professional wants to run guerrilla testing, he or she organizes a prototype and finds a certain public space ( like a cafe or park), and asks different people to assess the prototype. As a rule, test participants go through a short usability test and then receive some small gifts (like dessert or coffee). Such a test can provide you real user feedback.
When you should use it:
Such types of testing can be a perfect variant for the first stages of product development. You can use it when you already have a core concise representation of the idea (for example, it can be a low-quality prototype of your website or mobile app) and want to know whether you have made the right decisions for your product.
REMOTE USABILITY TESTING WITHOUT MODERATOR
Participants of the test are asked to fulfill a task in comfortable environments, using their own devices with no moderator. Such type of user testing is relatively cheap and can be automated with tools like Userzoom or Usertesting.
When you should use it:
Such kind of user testing is suitable when you need a lot of users to validate your hypothesis. For instance, you need to make sure that at least 90% of users will get a clear picture of how to make an order on your e-commerce website. Thus remote usability testing without moderate will provide you not only possible to validate your hypothesis but also to find out certain interaction patterns.
Contextual inquiry is another type of user testing where your users are asked a specific set of questions about your product and only then supervised while they use a product in their environment. Contextual inquiry is an observation or interview method that helps your product team to get data about the user experience from your users and not some random people.
When you should use it:
Such type of user testing is usually used for situations when you need detailed data about user preferences and habits. This technique is especially suitable for cases when your product team wants to obtain this data at the beginning of design development because this will help them to design a specifically customized experience.
LAB USER TESTING
Lab user testing is testing that is held in certain laboratories or environments and, as a rule, managed by UX researchers who take the role of moderators. Lab usability testing may be too complex. While performing testing, moderators may ask users to do a set of tasks, where they should track multiple qualitative data and do an interview where they gather personal opinions.
When you should use it:
Lab user testing is the most effective when you need to gather a wide range of information on how your real users interact with the website or mobile app and what problems they usually have. Among all of the techniques, this one is the most expensive one and it is usually conducted when you are sure of your product or concept.
What is guerilla testing? (In details)
Guerrilla testing is a low-cost, and simple way of gathering user feedback. In this method you get out of the office, take your design or prototype into the public domain, and ask the general public for their opinions. It is simple, and because of that, it becomes possible to test new ideas and prototypes in a fast and effective way.
There are contrasting opinions regarding guerrilla testing. Some people extremely love it and find it very useful, and some of the others hate it. One could say that guerrilla testing became a victim of its success, as it became heavily overused.
Differences between Guerilla testing and other in-depth methods
Depth of results
Guerrilla testing results are not the same as the results achieved by more in-depth and structured methods in various ways. Guerrilla testing does not give very deep insights. While in-depth usability testing requires a dedicated period for recruitment, guerrilla testing just uses a member of the public. The recruitment process in-depth methods have is to qualify the applicants against strict audience criteria, so that the participants correctly reflect what the broader audience needs. This does not mean that we do not try to recruit the people who are the best representatives of our audience.
Longitudinal and ethnographic approaches, diary studies, for instance, can take weeks or months. These methods are used to gather a bigger picture of people’s lives and habits, and their daily interactions with products and services. But when dealing with smaller questions and a closer deadline, guerilla testing gives us the answers in hours or days, instead of weeks and months.
Costs are the next huge barrier that comes in the way of researching with customers. the more in-depth and detailed a study is, the more expensive it is as well. Doing guerilla research is way better than doing none, and it is also very inexpensive.
Other benefits of Guerilla testing
- Guerilla testing is beneficial in a variety of ways, especially if research is not yet adopted as part of your company’s design process. The benefits of guerilla testing include:
- Frees your team from the never-ending loop of making assumptions and makes it more clear what customers want in action.
- Clears out the value of a good understanding of customers to young and amateur companies
- Makes research possible, by lowering the financial and time costs
A relaxed solution to quickly answer questions, a way to get going and make decisions easily.
Different guerilla testing types
In this method, we approach people while keeping in mind what they are doing, and simply ask them to answer a few questions. For this operation to go as planned, the tasks and context should be low-risk. A person choosing between the bags of chips at a supermarket is taking way less mental effort than doing something more complicated. Interceptions should be between 10 to 15 minutes, and having a thank you gift to conclude the test with afterward, would be nice. A quick design exercise, like the 20-sec gut test, must be included in the intercept, along with a list of other fast questions.
This kind of pared-back usability test is used to recognize a small number of usability problems. No matter what stage your prototype is at, you must test it out anyways, paper sketches, clickable wireframes, existing websites, and native apps are all acceptable. It is important to conclude with a thank you gift so that people feel appreciated for their time, and the test should last around ten to 15 minutes.
Prototype testing is very useful to test projects that are in their earliest stages with low costs, and efficiency. Although the total number of people you interact with may below, you will soon start to notice some patterns going on.
This type of testing is to simply go out there and observe. In light-touch ethnography, we learn by following physical traces, and indirect observation; including methods such as competitive testing and unobtrusive measures. Light-touch ethnography allows us to understand what people use, how they use them, and the environments they do so in. you get up from behind your desk, step outside, and gain first-hand experience.
How to do guerilla testing
Always plan ahead
First of all, you must consider where you can find your users. Consider your limits as well, how far can you travel, and still keep it low cost, both time and money-wise?
Plan the discussion you will be having with the participants. Time spent with users is of extreme value, so you must consider what you want to do, in case you come across a user of your product. Think about what questions you want to ask, and what you aim to accomplish through each survey.
Where the testing is done will affect the detail you get into and the impacts as well. If you sell carpentering tools, you probably would have a higher chance of finding suitable participants in a store related to your product than at your local coffee shop.
When the day arrives
You must keep in mind how you come across yourself, another way to state it is your UX. How people perceive you will impact how they answer your questions. If you dress sporty to do usability testing for a bank, people will consider it a joke. If you wear a suit for the usability testing of a gym, people will think you will never cancel your subscription.
Be confident when you approach people and ask for their partaking. You are there to heighten the level of your service and understand your customers better, which is insanely valuable. Watch your body language. An anxious person is stressful to be around and harder to trust as well.
It may be frustrating to get hit with a series of people saying no. But with each yes you get, your confidence will rise and it will get easier to bear hearing no as well.
And finally, one of the most important things is to never forget to show a user you appreciate their time. Thank them and even give them a little gift, like a coupon, a small gift card, or even some delicious candy.
Keep in mind
Guerilla testing is indeed meant to be fast and low cost, but it must not be entirely unplanned. The quality of your introduction matters and you should put some time and think into it beforehand. Also, settle on how much time each testing will take.
Understandably, estimating how insightful a participant might be is hard. But it is important to keep in mind that you were not originally part of their day, and keeping them for too long will mess up your results. People will get impatient and tired, or find it rude to take so much of their time, and that might turn their answers to be biased or not as helpful. Thank them for their time, and if you wish to ask more questions, ask them beforehand if it is possible to do so.
Try different places to conduct your testing, as each place has a variety of people. Doing the testing at the same location more than once is no different than testing the same demographic of people all over again. Take notes of the genders, ages, etc, of the people you will be approaching.
What is the purpose of a usability test?
The concept of a usability test is testing your website or product’s functionality by using actual user experience. Real-life users start testing your product and by observing their behavior you can take some steps to develop it.
The main goals of usability testing are collecting raw data from user experience, identifying and acknowledging your website’s bugs and highlights.
By using user testing valuations you begin to learn about usability problems and any kind of hidden product improvement opportunities.
Customer testing can show you the type of issues that a user can have with your website. for example, if there are any problems with the features of your website or if there is any room for more
functionality on your features you get familiar with them in the process of user testing.
Here are some other ways that user testing can be beneficial for your website:
Benefits of usability testing
It doesn’t matter where you are in the process of your website’s development, using a usability test plan is always beneficial. The sooner you find the issues the better. The key benefit of a usability test is getting customer satisfaction.
Bringing in your users at the beginning of your development process, helps you understand the clarity of your product. By analyzing your user’s experience on a prototype you can understand if the purpose of your website is clear or not.
Customer testing in the early stages, confirms your product’s concept and will prevent you from spending money on an unfunctional plan before you get to the actual product.
Supply and demand
Once you get to the final phase of your product, you can start testing usability again. You need to confirm that the expectations from your product are fulfilled.
Applying a usability test to your final steps helps you figure out what is missing from your product and whether your intended features are working smoothly.
If your website has features that run with complex flows, you can make sure that these steps are working perfectly by testing your user’s experience. Using a usability test confirms that your feature steps are working straightforward and without complications.
The main usage of usability testing is to detect major issues. Getting a variety of users testing your product helps with acknowledging smaller errors that don’t appear in the first testings.
You can improve your website in a more detailed way. Correcting these small details shows professionalism to your final users.
Using too much jargon is common among developers. Having everyday users test your website helps you to avoid tunnel visioning your product.
It’s easy to forget that your knowledge of the product is more advanced than your common users, running a usability test lets you know about real-life users’ experience with your website.
Ultimate user experience
Usability test tools help you uncover issues that wouldn’t be detected without use. Fixing these issues offers a better and clearer experience to users.
Usertesting creates a user-friendly environment for your website by helping you see your actual user’s struggles.
Difference between usability test and user testing
Usability and user testing are from the same family. You can’t get to usability testing before you pass the user testing phase.
User testing crucial to UX testing. it’s kind of like the possibility of your idea. For example, if you have an idea about an app, you start app user testing. asking around to evaluate the user count, or how people prefer to use this app and their preferences.
The main result that you get from user testing is finding a target audience and aiming towards them in the next steps. You need to start user testing after you get the idea and confirm the fact that there are demands for your idea.
It’s better to start usability testing after you’ve done your early stages. After people confirm that they like your idea and they would use it, you start to create your first version of the app.
After giving your prototype to your first users, you start to observe their engagement with the app, identify their problems, solve it and give them a new version. In fact, you’ll start an improvement cycle and narrow down the issues, that’s usability testing.
Usability testing helps you realize whether people can interact with your product or not, and how you can better their user experience. Your goal here is to create an easier experience.
To sum this up, you can say that user testing is about whether my product will have any users, and usability testing is whether my users use my product. User testing and usability testing are aiming for the same goal, effective user experience. Watching your user’s reactions and mistakes helps is a vital part of any product review.
Which element is involved in conducting a usability test?
By using usability testing you identify the design’s issues, find improvement opportunities and educate yourself about the target consumer’s behavior.
Even though the core elements can change by the type of the usability test, there are three common elements that we’re gonna talk about.
Main elements of a usability test
There are three stable elements in every usability test. These elements have a flowing connection with each other.
The facilitator is the person who gives the instructions and tasks to the participants and guides them throughout the tests.
The facilitator tries to control the factors that might have an unwanted effect on the test results, they ask questions from the participants, answer their questions and ask follow-up questions from them.
It’s a job that requires expertise to achieve a certain amount of balance and keeping the environment away from the unwanted influence is in their job description.
Tasks of a usability test are kinds of tasks that you might do in your everyday life. They are mostly realistic activities and are either oddly specific or open ending depending on the test.
An important point in the task element is how it’s worded. The wording should be without errors to avoid any confusion and distraction from the participants.
The tasks are either given verbally by the facilitator or given to participants on paper sheets. However, even if the tasks and questions are written down the participants usually read out loud so that the facilitator knows that they have no complications and the task is understandable.
Participants are usually the real-life users of the testing product. In some tests, the participant can just have a similar background, and in others, there is the possibility of them being regular users of the familiar product.
The think-out loud method is often used on the participants. The facilitator encourages the participants to talk about how they feel or what are their thoughts when they’re using the product.
Understanding and learning about the participants’ behavior, motivations, and goals are the intentions of this method.
Usability testing methods
There are three different types of usability testing. In order To reach your goals from the usability testing, you need to learn the difference between these methods and make a decision about the type of test that you’re going to use.
Remote vs. in-person tests
Remote testing is more popular due to being less time-consuming and being more cost-effective than in-person usability tests. Remote usability tests can happen online or over the phone but the in-person tests need to be supervised by a UX moderator.
However in-person tests can give you more data points since you have the ability to observe your user’s body language, on the other hand, it’s more expensive compared to remote tests.
Explorative vs. comparative vs. Assessment tests
Explorative tests are mostly done in the initial stages of the development process. The key point is that these tests are open-ended.
In explorative tests, participants are asked to brainstorm their thoughts and ideas, give opinions on the product and determine the product’s usability.
Assessment tests are used to evaluate the user’s satisfaction with the product. Assessment tests show the functionality of the product.
In comparative testing, you evaluate the performance of two websites or products. The participants choose one over the other.
How do you conduct user testing?
User testing is once a whole test and its merchandise, services, and digital interfaces with people United Nations agency represent typical users, gathering deep insights of the quality and effectiveness of a product.
Done well, user testing is one in all the simplest ways to realize data of the behavior patterns, opinions, and preferences of the specified user; insights that might be leveraged to tweak and plan components of a product to create a lot of easy and no-hit.
These squares measure some ways of using user testing. Despite several variations in methodology, user testing may be weakened into 5 general steps.
First of all, verify your testing goals.
whether or not it’s a website, software, or an app, there’s invariably space for client feedback.
User testing tasks may be wont to live however tough it’s to seek out data on your website, the responsiveness of a software package feature, or the intuitiveness of your app interface.
When it involves the way to use user testing effectively, your testing goals have to be compelled to be specific and customer-centric, it’s vital that you simply raise the correct queries once designing.
Deciding on KPI or metrics you would like to live along with your user testing tasks may be a smart place to begin.
For example, if you would like to check the amount of easy-finding data on your website, some metrics you’ll be able to use our square measure minutes taken to seek out target data, range of steps taken, or both.
Don’t grasp what your testing goal ought to be? Don’t worry, it’s quite common for organizations to induce loss in their own visions and miss out on potential enhancements.
In this case, 1st set up the most desires or issues your product addresses and people that it ought to address to develop a lot of centered goals for your user check.
In the second step, project testing setup.
Cause it’s time to write down your check set up. This involves the process, a testing technique, your testing audience, testing task, and testing situation for the project.
Your user testing participants ought to be reflective of your actual users, thus confirming what demographics your service targets. As an example, if you’re AN Australian-based women’s article of a clothing store, your participants ought to be feminine users between ages 25 – 45 in Australia.
Next, select what tasks you would like to check.
So as for your usability check to be relevant, make certain that you are just selecting realistic things that accurately depict your user flow.
The goal is to create tangible enhancements to your user’s expertise, thus you want to begin with an honest understanding of how your users use your service.
In the third step, notice user testing participants.
Once you’ve developed your check set up, you then have to be compelled to notice users finish the check. As straightforward as it sounds, finding the correct user testing participants is often AN exhausting method.
Believe it or not; choosing the correct audience is often the foremost crucial step in terms of the success of your project. So as to create user-centric experiences, your check audience has to be reflective of your actual users.
To do this, you’ll create use of your existing client information if you’ve got one already, your social media networks, referrals from staff, otherwise, you will check-in for a user testing service.
Luckily, there are several user testing agencies out there that will assist you to connect with the correct target market during a breeze, among alternative edges.
In the next step, conduct user testing.
Before causing your tests, contemplate what format you wish your responses in. Recording of your participants interacting together with your digital product could be a wide selection because it captures the time period reactions of a user at the side of any subconscious actions and patterns that may be valuable.
Other response formats conjointly embrace sound recording, written feedback, and form.
You can conjointly mix techniques, as an example having participants speak aloud regarding their thought method whereas trying to complete a task in an exceeding screen recording. This may provide you with valuable insight into not solely what’s or isn’t operating however why.
Now you’re set. Channel testing materials to all or any participants and guarantee all needs like testing tasks, testing setting, area unit understood by every participant.
And in the fifth step, review the results.
Finally, you would like to gather and analyze all the responses received from the participants.
Understand whether or not every error is functional-related (User Interface connected) or expertise-related (user expertise related); compare it with benchmark information for every performance space and determine areas for enhancements.
Compile your findings into unjust takeaways to figure out a way to use your user testing results to assist you to improve your digital product and share them together with your team.
So currently, you recognize a way to do user testing! It’s nice to possess fellow feelings, however, it’s not possible to know all users and predict their behavior patterns.
After you conduct user testing with real folks, you’re ready to gather valuable insights that you just would possibly otherwise ne’er even have thought of.
What is the user testing method?
User testing is the process of studying the usage of a product (e.g. a prototype of a mobile website) with real users testing that product. People who complete the “user-test” are presented with a combination of scenarios, tasks, and questions with the screen of the user’s device recorded for later analysis.
There are many types of user tests, from behavioral and attitudinal to qualitative and quantitative, each with a set number of participants for optimal results.
Attitudinal and behavioral testing is summed up as “what people say” vs. “what people do.” Many times the two are very different.
Qualitative and quantitative testing is described as “direct observation” vs. “indirect measurement.”
Quantitative testing data will always express a certain quantity, amount, or range, while qualitative testing data contains information about qualities.
Usability testing is a vital part of the development process, which should not be avoided. Conducting well-structured user testing will prevent damage in the future, and save you a lot of money as well. Running user testing in different stages of the development will keep the customer at the center of attention. As a user experience designer, that should exactly be your goal.
User testing may seem complicated at first, but it is not as hard as you think it is. There is no need for it to be as complicated as you think either. Once you know your goals, the best method suitable to achieve them, it will be easy to get results. The testing does not need to happen in fully-fledged laboratory conditions. It is better to do some sort of testing than to do none. If you cannot afford expensive testing methods, conduct simple guerrilla testing. But make sure to choose your users carefully.
Identify the pain points so you can correct them later. Identify your strengths, so you can maneuver on them even more. Sit down together with your team, and thoroughly read the data you have collected. Do not rush analyzing and look for patterns of behavior.
There is no way to conduct user testing without participants. It is not always easy to find them, but you have two basic categories and many sub-categories underneath:
Your current users
The general public
You can recruit for your testing from your current users through:
Customer support: people contacting customer support are frustrated and care enough about your product or services to go through the trouble of reaching out. Your customer support team can be a great tool for tracking users who are willing to put in a little more of their time to solve issues truly. Create relationships with customer support team members, who can forward to you some of these users.
Live intercepts: easy and quick. People who are already on your website are the closest option. Tools like ethnic quickly find and screen users who might be a suitable test subject.
Social media: makes it easy to reach out. You can quickly make it clear to any user who cares enough to follow you, about the upcoming testing. Way better if there is a prize involved!
If you choose to recruit people through the general public, here are some ways to do so:
Dedicated panels: paid databases that list potential research participants. You pay some money, and you recruit some of the users you need. Be prepared to face users that do not match your target audience.
Integrated recruitment services: in these panels, you can order users who match different demographic criteria. Userzoom, optimal workshop, and user testing are some of your options.
Online advertising: an inexpensive way to reach out to potential participants. They usually offer a variety of tools to target what best matches your business as well. Craigslist and Facebook ads are some of the options.
While testing a design, there are two main things you want to focus on:
The usability of the design and the visual hierarchy, which make it possible for the user to use the website.
The brand and personality, and feelings and atmosphere it communicates.
Here are two ways to test how your design affects the user navigation flow:
The first click test: Bob Bailey and Carie Wolfson proved that a user’s success in completing a task heavily relies on them getting the first click right. If users got their first click right they would finish the task by 87%, but if they got it wrong, that chance would be reduced to only 46%. You provide the users with a task and a design concept. The user chooses and the results are recorded.
Five-second test: this test is conducted by showing an image to the users for 5 seconds, and then asking questions about it. What the users remember if the users remember the critical elements and how quickly they remembered it all matter.
To test the impression your design makes:
Semantic differential survey: before you start designing you settle on a list of keywords that you want the design to communicate through. Then we show the designs and ask the participants to rate how much each design represents each keyword.
Preference test: like an A/B test, you show the users several design concepts to choose from. But instead of asking what they prefer, ask which design matches the keyword better.
Competition testing: similar to preference test, but instead you compare your design to your competitors’.