When people first learn about product design, they are introduced to:
- UI - the product’s overall look and feel
- UX - the user’s overall experience/interaction with the product.
But there is a key skill that is often overlooked that saves your team time, money, and additional work in the long run: User Testing!
User Testing is crucial because it helps provide feedback and validation directly from the product’s intended users. There are many different forms for gathering this information which can be adapted to your team’s needs. User Testing is done before software development begins and/or before the product is officially released.
By gathering feedback from real users and observing behavior in real time, your team guarantees successful adoption rates. It helps ensure that you’re addressing the right pain points and deal breakers before market launch.
User Testing 101: How do I get started?
- Recruit 5-10 users to regularly test and interview. Ideally, these users should have varied degrees of experience and skill levels with the product’s industry and the purpose it’s trying to solve.
- Test during crucial stages of design, development and pre-launch. At Codelitt, we recommend connecting with users as soon as possible, even if you just have a low-fidelity wireframe or prototype. The earlier and more frequently you meet with these users to validate and gather feedback the better!
- Try different methods when testing with your user base. Empathize with the user and adjust your testing methods to best replicate their natural environment. For example, moderated in-person interviews can be a good fit for some products, while other product feedback is best gathered through unmoderated and recorded virtual sessions.
Why is User Testing important?
Most teams do not prioritize user testing since the main focus tends to be on the UX/UI or the product’s development. However,
“a product is only as good as the users it’s intending to serve.”
If the product lacks actual feedback or validation from its intended users, it can cost the team thousands of dollars and result in missed deadlines even for a simple change like redoing a screen or workflow.
Here are other key reasons why it’s important to perfect your skill in User Testing:
- Your team takes on a more proactive approach to designing solutions, using actionable feedback to take next steps rather than reacting once those steps have already been made.
- Time and investment is laser focused on features that users will actually need and enjoy
- Intuitive workflows are focused on usability and functionality
- Pain points and roadblocks are clearly prioritized for the team throughout each stage of the product’s life cycle
- Ongoing user engagement = successful and consistent user approval and adoption, from design to launch
Gathering ongoing feedback should be a main priority in any product development process, and user testing is the most efficient and cost effective way to do just that.
Interested in more information on how it can benefit your product build? Get in contact with us!