No excuses! You should be testing your product with users.
People care more about eXperiences than features; in the market, 1 in 5 products fail due to an unfriendly product eXperience.How can we prevent ourselves from this awful fate?
“Give users what they need, duh!”
It seems simple, yet we’ve seen company after company get this wrong; they don’t include the user in any stage of their product creation. In fact, a McKinsey study showed 40% of the surveyed companies do not talk to their end users during development.
Without an understanding of what the user needs are, how can a company hope to add value to their users?
Welcome to the world of user research! To help make the user research process more approachable, we’re starting a series, the Founder’s Guide to UX Research, where we break down methods that will help you and your product team understand your users, improve your product eXperience, and exceed your business goals.
Let’s begin! Today’s topic: usability testing.
To give your users what they want, it can be as easy as finding them and asking. If you aren’t familiar with the term usability testing, here’s the gist:
Usability testing is a fast and effective way to test how well your product will work with users and should ideally be done before products are released to the public.
Testing with merely 5 users can capture up to 80% of all the usability issues in your product, significantly decreasing the risk of launching an unintuitive product.
Usability tests are best for:
Usability tests must be done when you have a prototype that can be shown to users. The prototype can be of varying fidelities — from sketches to developed prototypes. Since testers may differ in their understanding of sketches versus prototypes, the quality of the feedback is directly correlated to the fidelity of the prototype.
Sometimes, a “smoke and mirrors” prototype may work just as well as fully functional software in testing.
Depending on the time and budget you have available, you can choose between two common types of usability testing:
Unmoderated usability testing
In an unmoderated usability test, prototypes are uploaded into a tool such as UserTesting or UserZoom, and participants are prompted through the study at their own pace. Researchers then watch and analyze the videos to extract insights.
In a moderated usability test, a researcher meets with participants 1:1 either in person or over a video call and guides them through the study.