In a world where the success of your product/service depends to such a large extent on users’ reactions, User Experience (UX) plays a major role in designing any customer-facing interaction. Did you know that developers spend 50% of their time fixing avoidable issues with their product post-hoc? To be more time and cost-efficient than that, it is worth thinking about user testing before the product is out and running.
User Testing can be largely described as an experiment you conduct with the representative audience prior to releasing a new product or service. A reason for doing that is to avoid one-sidedness of opinion and see in action how your users are going to react to your new product or service.
WHY CALL User testing AN EXPERIMENT?
User Testing relies heavily on your ability to conduct a good experiment. Only in that case it will tell you something about your product. You have to plan your test, recruit representative audience and analyze the results.
Keep in mind that engaging in confirmation bias can make the results unrepresentative and invalid, which destroys the point of the experiment. After you have provided all the necessary information to your users, you should stay an independent observer of their reactions. Posing leading questions like :”Is this clear how A works?” or “Have you ever used a similar product to B before?” can form your users’ opinions for them and deprive your experiment of necessary results. Stay neutral and observe or record your participants from afar.
HOW EXACTLY TO OBSERVE PARTICIPANTS?
Your testing technique depends upon the product you are about to release. It is recommended that you subject your participants to the use of your product and document their reactions, either by recording it or by silent observation. In this case you can be sure that your users are truly expressing opinion about the product, and possible drawbacks of a mock-up experiment don’t affect it.
In any event, it is in your interest to encourage your users to voice their concerns and uncertainties. Be sure that if your test audience has problems with a product use, your real audience will have them, too.
TESTING COSTS ARE THERE
Any kind of experiment you choose has its costs, so does your participants’ time. You may choose to record your test, which demands for a recording equipment. It is also a good idea to compensate your users for their time. Also, the space where a test is to be conducted may cost you extra money, so plan ahead for that.
It may seem unimportant, but telling your users how an experiment will be conducted is a necessary part of every test. You never know the reactions of your users to a service or product, so it is better to stay on the safe side and instruct them what to do prior to the experiment.
Another useful tip: you may want to provide your users with a receipt at the end, especially if compensation is involved, just so they are sure of your test’s legitimacy.
In short, User Testing is an efficient way to account for future repair costs and time wasted to fix problems that arise. Even if you cosier your product ideal, there will always be something to make your user unsure of its work. Playing smart and testing it before an official release is your best strategy.
For a more detailed and advanced guide to user testing techniques visit this Webpage. At concept9, we work hard to link business goals to user experiences. At the end of the day, all the results that our clients see from our work rely on an alignment between these two factors. To find out more, contact us now!