The why in user testing


To design the best UX, you need to understand what the users do within your site or app. Usability testing lets you see users in real time and how they interact with your product. You can observe the behavior of the user to see what works and what doesn’t work with specifics tasks they are given. The users are encouraged to vocalize their thought processes in order to further identify issues they encounter.

If done at an early stage when the product is at paper prototyping stage, you will find the problems when they are easy to fix. Doing usability testing reduces the risk of building the wrong product; thereby saving time and money. This will help to understand user’s success rate and time spent to complete a task. You will be able to:

  • check if product meets user’s expectations
  • match business decisions to real-world use
  • remove flaws in the design
  • see what works well and is successfull
  • receive user’s initial reaction and user feedback

Usability tests are done at different times in the design process. First this is done with low-fidelity tests to gain quick insights. During the initial development phase, paper prototypes are used for user testing. It can be done anywhere and little design is needed. The results from a formative test should include users’ reactions and comments while thinking aloud. This will show any confusion and the reason for their actions.

Next will be high fidelity tests to capture metrics. This is done at the end of the development stage to show how usable a product is from the user’s perspective. The testing is conducted in a controlled setting or remotely using their computers and mobile phones.

Doing usability testing, will enable you to find solutions to existing problems as well as find problems you didn’t know existed. Testing will increase user satisfaction and a positive outcome to the final product.