UX Testing: A Proven Way to Make Your Users Love Your Product
UX testing is a goldmine for modern businesses. The more you test your product with users, the more you see how you can improve your product.
The more you improve your product, the more attractive it is to users. And the more users you attract, the more successful your business will be.
UX testing just keeps on giving.
But to fully understand how valuable UX testing is for your products and business, we'll first define what UX, or user experience, is.
What Is User Experience?
User experience, or UX, is a broad concept. When end-users interact with the company through its products and services, everything becomes part of their experience.
User experience doesn't necessarily start when people use your interface or product, but much earlier than that.
It happens every time people unpackage the product, sign up for a newsletter, or read a Facebook ad. Any interaction with your products and services becomes part of their user experience.
If you want to provide great UX for your users, you have to make sure it's smooth and enjoyable across multiple dimensions and departments. Those can include your marketing message, your product design, and your client support, to name a few.
How do you ensure users enjoy a high-quality experience when so many diverse services and processes are at play? You perform user experience testing.
From the very start of your product design process and throughout the whole development process, UX testing helps ensure users will enjoy interfacing with your product and its different aspects.
There are many research methods, and there are platforms like Teston that simplify that process for you. The methods you choose will influence your design process and help you make effective design decisions at all stages of your product's development.
But before we cover those in detail, let's briefly talk about why UX testing is so important and what makes it a crucial part of product development.
Why Is UX Testing Important?
Here's the thing: 70% of projects fail due to a lack of user acceptance. Investors spend money while developers and designers spend time only to find out that no one needs the product they were developing.
UX testing helps define critical product features and determine whether people will actually use them even before development starts, saving tens of thousands of dollars in advance.
During the development, programmers spend up to 50% of their time reworking their projects. Often that's because they develop features users either don't need or don't find useful.
UX testing helps define user requirements upfront so the development team can focus on only features people will actually use. Getting feedback from users also helps prioritise dev tasks and improve decision making, thus reducing development time by 33%.
After proper UX research, you know exactly how to improve user experience, which is good for business too. Here are the business benefits of a good user experience:
- Increases conversion rates
- Reduces development waste
- Increases customer satisfaction
- Lowers support load
In order to achieve a high-quality user experience and save on development costs, you should start performing UX testing as early as possible. So let's look at common UX testing methods you can use throughout your whole design process.
UX Testing Methods
As mentioned earlier, user experience covers all aspects of a user's interaction with company products. The same is true for user experience testing methods.
There are many UX testing techniques and methods that allow you to unveil usability issues, guide your UX design, or create the information architecture of your products.
Combining different methods allows you to design a smooth and satisfying user experience from the earliest stages of your product development. For example, with Teston, you can start testing as soon as you have a prototype or even just a design draft.
Here are some different UX testing methods and the purpose they serve.
Card sorting is the simplest and most effective technique if you need to design an intuitive and user-oriented navigation hierarchy for your product — be it an e-commerce website, a mobile app, or a desktop application.
You present your target users with a number of labeled cards that indicate different sections of your UI, and then ask people to organise those cards in a way that makes sense to them.
This technique allows you to design the information architecture of your product or even evaluate existing architecture by comparing it with your findings.
Given that 79% of users will leave a webpage if the content is not optimised, card sorting is an invaluable technique, especially if your product has a complex and extensive UI.
Aim to perform card sorting with at least 15 users in order to get reliable data.
Although card testing doesn't produce the exact categorisation you should employ in your product, the findings are invaluable to understanding how your target audience thinks and what the main priorities of your users are.
The tree testing technique, which is also called a reverse card sorting technique is used when you need to evaluate existing navigation.
With tree testing, you give test participants a list of pre-made categories and labeled cards with UI elements that they should assign to each of these categories. After that, you can track how close your designed navigation is to the one created most often during the task.
Tree testing is usually a follow-up technique to card testing and acts as a further step in enhancing the navigation hierarchy of your product.
A focus group is a moderated group session that allows you to gather informal data from your target audience, and to elicit their pain points, requirements, and overall opinion about your product.
Focus groups can be held either before the development process starts or after the product is released. A typical focus group consists of six to nine users with sessions lasting around 2 hours.
Although focus groups are a powerful user research technique, they should always be complemented by other UX research methods due to the subjective and attitudinal nature of the insights.
There are several types of usability studies: in-person testing, remote usability testing, unmoderated usability studies, and moderated usability studies.
At Teston, we can help you with remote unmoderated testing, though you should consider all the options and decide which one fits your project best.
With moderated usability research you or someone else conducts the testing session and observe how people interact with your designs in real-time.
With unmoderated usability studies, there is no facilitator present and people interact with your design based on a set of tasks that you prepared beforehand.
Both moderated and unmoderated usability sessions benefit greatly from a well-designed test plan, and the closer the tasks are to the real-world problems people are trying to solve, the more valuable the testing results will be.
During the testing process, you can test both raw paper prototypes, wireframes, and finished user interfaces. According to Jakob Nielsen, 85% of usability issues can be uncovered with just five test participants.
Observing how people interact with your products in real-time is one of the simplest, yet most effective processes for collecting valuable and actionable insights about your product. It’s also a great way to learn more about your users and how they utilize your services in the real world.
Although recruiting test participants and designing test scenarios takes a lot of time in order to provide you with the highest quality of user feedback, this process can be greatly simplified.
At Teston, we can help you find the most appropriate test users based on your specific criteria and help you design the most effective and relevant testing scenarios.
Research shows that the first judgment of a homepage's visual appeal and aesthetics happen within milliseconds. Add to that 75% of people base credibility on how a website looks and feels, while 59% of people prefer a beautifully designed website, and now you understand why first impressions are so important.
Given the magnitude of instant user feedback, five-second tests become a crucial UX testing technique that allows UX researchers to test not only aesthetic aspects of their digital product but the ease of use and credibility as well.
A user is given five seconds to view a design and then answer questions related to it. The data you elicit through five-second tests depends on the questions you ask your users, but generally, this UX testing tool is best for:
- Checking if users understand the purpose of a website
- Checking how trustworthy the website appears to users
- Analysing overall first impressions (what do people think about the product, who is it for, and what are its main elements)
The five-seconds test is a powerful technique that's often employed by usability experts in conjunction with other techniques mentioned in this section, especially for digital products.
A/B testing is a simple yet effective research technique based on the comparison between two different versions of the same product on a given set of parameters.
A/B testing is a quantitative research method and the best results are achieved with a significant sample size of users, ranging from 100 to 5,000, depending on how crucial the feature being tested is and how diverse its user base.
Heatmaps are a testing tool employed by usability experts during UX testing to see the areas of your product's UI that users interact with the most. The average number of users needed for a reliable heatmap, according to Nielsen Norman Group research, is no less than 39.
A thoughtful analysis of heatmaps can hint at your product's most used features, as well as the least used features, and aid in creating user journeys, although it's advisable to combine heatmap analysis with other UX testing methods to avoid biased interpretations.
Are You Ready to Perform UX Testing?
We've covered several UX testing methods in this article, and every one of them produces reliable and insightful data that can help you design a high-quality, smooth user experience. However, teams rarely employ all of the methods because it can be quite time-consuming.
Usually, they focus on just a few. In order to get the best results, we suggest combining several different methods on different stages of your product design.
If you're ready to start improving user experience, unmoderated usability testing is a simple, yet effective method of producing reliable and insightful data on how people are using your product.