Usually “Informal” User Testing is the Best ROI
Too often “user-testing” can mean a months-long process that only creates reams of documentation that go unread. We typically focus on getting the highest-value results as quickly as possible. Our staff is trained in methods of identifying target customers, segmenting them, and then building understanding of how to optimally design for those target groups. We do this in a way that balances the need to move fast with the rigor and balance of an unbiased experiment.
We work with our clients to develop an understanding of the target market, and then challenge those assumptions to create a nuanced view of the target customer. Then we’ll identify ways to quickly reach people in those markets (including Facebook ads, attending industry meetups, finding enthusiasts on Instagram, and more) and schedule a series of interviews with those users (in the office or at a coffee shop), which are recorded, transcribed, and mined for insights.
Once a prototype has been developed, we’ll sit down with additional users in the target areas to gauge the usability of the prototype and ensure that it’s meeting their needs. In our experience, no other methodology works as quickly to ensure that we’re building products to delight customers.
If Needed – Formal Usability Testing in a Lab
In these cases, we handle the entire project “turn-key,” including recruiting and compensating the participants, preparing the testing facility, and reporting the results. We expect the following work will be required, in ongoing collaboration with the client:
- Kickoff / Assessments
- Discuss top-level goals, what is good and bad about the existing product, areas for improvement, advantages / disadvantages, motivators, drawbacks, calls-to-action. Discuss hypotheses (e.g. “we think it breaks because of x”).
- Discuss metrics that might be available that suggest current product performance or areas for improvement.
- Discuss demographic breakdowns (e.g. lean more towards customers that are shopping for more expensive items or just an “across the board” type of customer sample).
- Develop a screener that successfully selects for the right participants from the general population. Attempt to screen for certain recent qualifying activities related to the task (i.e. visited a competitors web site, purchased books on the subject, etc.).
- Recruit participants from the general population. Recruit “floater” participants to be available as-needed in the case of no-shows or disqualified participants. Compensate the participants.
- Develop test materials including the moderator guide. Handle the multiple ways and platforms in which the product should be tested (e.g. mobile, web, tablet, etc.).
- Run the usability testing and handle the testing logistics.
- Prepare the testing facility, prepare the technology (including video recording and live stream if necessary), prepare the observation room with large screen, and prepare all of the devices that are to be tested.
- Expect several days at the usability testing lab.
- Testing conducted by UX Researchers under the supervision of our Engagement Manager. Detailed logging and note taking.
- Some participation by client, e.g. two to five people in attendance per day observing the testing in progress. Parking and meals to be provided.
- Conduct analysis and report testing results. Review and crunch the resulting data. Report on the results, issues, and recommendations in an actionable presentation format.