Stop guessing, start knowing. When you see services in the hands of real users, what works and what doesn’t quickly becomes clear. Early testing lowers the risk of spending time and money on functions and services that don’t meet user needs.
Be quick to identify what works and what doesn’t
The benefits of products and services are derived from their use. User tests, or usability tests, are great for involving end users in the development process to ensure the best possible user experience.
Early user testing means:
- a more efficient workflow
- the ability to test several different solutions
- you will find problems before you spend time and money on development that users don’t understand or want
- a higher quality finished solution
Seeing how a service is used in real time will clarify what works and what doesn’t early on. User tests also tend to produce valuable input and ideas for new solutions. It’s especially important to conduct user tests when developing websites, web applications, mobile apps and other digital services.
How do you conduct user tests?
When your vision is clear, it’s time to get to know your customers in-depth. Customer needs, behaviors and motivations are mapped through analyses, interviews, observations and other qualitative research methods. Depending on the purpose, there are different kinds of tests.
- Formative testing during design development to shape the future design solution
- Summative testing to see how an existing service works, as a launchpad for new development
- Structured and planned with a carefully recruited selection, a kind of summative test to see if what we’ve made works as intended
- Guerrilla tests: quick input from random people out in the city
- Contextual interviews during the research phase are also a kind of user test. These involve sitting with someone while they use the system to learn how it’s used, what works and what doesn’t
An iterative approach means regular user testing. Many people work on agile projects with cross-functional teams, with work planned in sprints and tested by users as you go.
The right questions for the right people
The testing process starts by defining target groups to test and picking selection criteria for each group. These criteria will help you choose your test participants. A test script is written up based on what you’re studying and the questions in the evaluation.
Usually, the tests are carried out individually and begin with a quick overarching interview. Then the participants carry out realistic tasks and share their thoughts. The tests catch any usability issues, along with perceptions of the brand and service.
Putting it all together
The tests will give you a summary of specific ideas for improvement that will help you set the right priorities as you develop your service. The insight process may culminate in target group descriptions, personas and customer journeys, with insights illustrated in maps.
Together, these visual tools will give you a great foundation for forming consensus on what direction your service development should take and why. With a clear understanding of your customers’ total experience, you’ll be able to set essential priorities to make sure customer benefit and business objectives are at the heart of your project, using a structured, practicable approach.
Antrop is an industry leader in user testing for concepts and digital solutions alike.
Our expertise is to find out what people need and what drives them. From these valuable insights we innovate and design services that users easily understand and fall in love with.