User Testing Guide – What, Types and How to Perform Testing
Table of Contents
What is User Testing?
User Testing is one of the forms of software testing that recently has become important for todays business’ product success. This is a unique method of software testing that involves a process that is used in the design process and particularly user testing is done by a group of humans who evaluate a software application or product or prototype.
What is the Significance of User Testing for Businesses?
User testing is a process that is used to test the interface and functions of a website, application, mobile app< or service. Specifically, this user testing review is taken up by real users who perform uat testing process in realistic conditions. These users give real-time feedback and experiences with user testing of websites, apps, and prototypes. This sort of crucial feedback can be used to make recommendations and improvements to the product. Therefore, this user testing process helps to gain valuable insights from various users on the amount of time it takes to complete various tasks and helps to know about rapid customer feedback. Moreover, by performing usability testing, it gives first-hand information for businesses about the website, app, or product whether it is ready to be launched for real-users.
How to do User Testing?
1. Define test objectives in detail:
A clear outline that covers user testing goals should be the first step to start with. Testing objectives should be properly defined by the testing team and consistency should also be maintained.
2. Select a suitable testing method
Most adequate testing method should be worked upon and decided. Some of the best testing methods are remote user testing, card-sorting, A/B testing, individual in-depth interviews, focus groups, etc.
3. Select the required users
Select at least 3 to 5 users who will contribute to identifying key issues. A user persona based on the organization’s requirement should be created. Factors pertaining to the user persona are age, gender, location, education, profession, income, technical proficiency, etc.
4. Find a suitable location
It would be much better to test in person. The reason being their behaviour can easily be studied and a productive conversation can take place. If the user is able to visit the client’s office (who wants to conduct testing), then It will be really good for drawing meaningful conclusions about a product. On the contrary, if the user cannot visit in person, then virtual meetings can be taken up.
5. Moderate the test
The quality of testing is measured by checking how well the tests run. A tester can select certain focus groups who might be able to provide valuable feedback about a product and a proper moderator for the user testing should be made available.
6. Document the test result
All the user test findings should be well-documented in the form of a report. This report will provide key insights as to what worked and what didn’t from a testing perspective.
Advantages for Businesses with User Testing are:
– Gives an effective understanding of customer experience
– Derives insights and gives real-time feedback on user experiences about the product
– Helps to give first-hand information about the product as real users test the product
– Facilitates as a perfect stage validation for design issues if any
– States or identifies if any improvements are required for the product
When Should User testing be Taken up?
Typically, User testing should be taken up at every point and rather should be an integral part of the iterative design process. This type of testing should essentially be taken up in the initial design phase, sometimes even by using good and effective designs with paper prototypes. During the digital prototyping phase, they should evolve clickable prototypes. And even at the end phase of final phase, user experience testing should be taken up, as it helps to refine what has been built in case of any changes required. There are various types of user testing that form an integral part of this type of testing that has been detailed below.
What are the Different Types of User Testing?
This is a specific type of user testing that is done by real users to see how easy it is to use a website product or application. The major goal of usability testing is to know how humans interact with the product and the primary importance is to improve the product design. This form of testing aims at how real users are able to accomplish typical goals, tasks with a product when testing is done under controlled conditions. Some of the benefits of usability testing are it helps to save time and costs as if it is taken up early helps to know where there are bugs or flaws while using the product. Early detection of bugs ensures faster methods to improve the product and it typically saves both time and cost. Moreover, in today’s competitive world, creating average products will not assure business success. Hence, only those products with outstanding user experience (UX) will vow the customer and are bound to delight customers and deliver a great customer experience (CX).
This form of user testing is the simplest form of testing wherein users are given a tree-like sitemap of an application or a website. They are instructed to navigate without the distraction of visual elements and check how they would move in order to find something. Some of the common tools that can be used for testing are UserZoom, Treejack, etc.
Remote Usability Testing:
This is an important method of remote user testing wherein an insight platform is used to record the screen and voice of the participants as they interact and test the product in their natural environment. This user testing process helps to gather feedback from real people for products and essentially their true experiences give proper insights about the product. This product feedback and outcomes are unbiased as the testing is performed by users in remote areas from various geographical locations. There are two methods of remote usability testing named as moderated and unmoderated usability testing methods.
Open Card Sorting:
In this method of testing, testers are asked to sort navigation items into different categories which are created by testers. Specifically, users are asked to organize cards into groups based on how they feel appropriate and then name each group and label that group. This testing method is more commonly used for existing information architectures or organizing products on a site. The user testing software tools that can be used to do this sort of testing are Optimalsort and Whimsicalsort.
Closed Card Sorting:
This method of testing can be categorized as a summative variation of open card sorting. Here the categories are already named and the tester only names where the navigation item belongs. The same tools of open card sorting can also be used here.
Remote Card Sorting:
This is conducted on a remote card sorting session and user works independently via their own computers to simply sort the cards. There are many user testing tools available to perform this sort of testing and some of these tools are Optimalsort, and Simple card sort are a few among them.
Specifically, 3 to 6 focus groups with each group consisting of 8 to 10 participants are aimed to identify themes within a dataset. This sort of focus group testing is taken up during the strategy phase of the project.
Qualitative Attitudinal User Testing:
In this method, only a small group of participants try to understand how they feel about a particular product. They keenly analyse the architecture, design of the product when users interact with it. The results are used to analyze the product’s effectiveness and based on inputs required changes are made.
Quantitative Behavioral User Testing:
In this method, at least 20 participants are required and often might require even more participants. The user experience researchers look for the patterns from the collected data and always prefer more users to have as it gives more accurate data when a good number of participants understand the product.
What are the Basic Elements and Process of User Testing?
Create a Prototype:
A prototype is an effectively an early model of a product that usually has limited functionality. It is essential that this early design concept should be learned more and it is done by creating a prototype.
Develop/Create a test plan:
It is important to have a test plan in place with what is to be tested (features, functionalities, tasks, etc.) and how the process will measure the product. The success or fail rate of test in specific product areas is to be taken up which will be notified in this test plan.
Recruit participants for User testing
It is highly important to recruit participants and the sales teams of stakeholders can be contacted to get some customer contacts. It is preferable to have at least 3-5 testers and it is equally important to schedule the tests with good breaks between tests to get the best results.
Choose a suitable test location:
It is always preferable to have testing in person as body language clearly can be read. Even a remote meeting either with skype or hangout can also be planned. But, it is preferable to have a compatible meeting place with the least distraction to ensure the best results.
Run/perform the test:
The most critical aspect of user testing is this phase wherein the quality of testing is heavily dependent on how well you run the test and communicate by moderating effectively. The real users should be given enough time and should be told to experience the app or product as real-time users and take their inputs and feedback.
Record/Document test results:
It is important to summarize the findings in an effective way to within spreadsheets, audio and video recordings of results, or even a screen recording, as the case may be. Even a recording with a webcam can also be taken up. A proper understanding of the results through the documented formats should be used to get analyse the entire feedback of the user testing.
Today’s businesses achieve success only if their product, app, or website is effective and delivers great customer experience (CX), which is effectively achieved through a proper QA testing process. User testing is one important testing method that is performed by a group of real users to get an overview or understanding about the product.
This sort of user testing helps to improve the product design, as real users test ideas in real scenarios to understand better. Importantly, the insights gained from observing how actual users use your product are very crucial for product success. Leverage user testing services by testing services provider to get a complete understanding of your product, website or mobile application to be ensured of getting an effective product that delivers great UX.