How To Conduct User Testing: A Step by Step Guide - 5 minutes read
Despite many variations in methodology, user testing can be broken down into five general steps.
- Define the objectives,
- Develop a test plan,
- Gather user insights,
- Conduct analysis and
- Understand the results.
Here is our Step By Step Guide on How to Run User Testing:
Step #1: Define your testing goals
Whether it’s a website, software, or an app, there is always room for customer feedback. User testing tasks can be used to measure how difficult it is to find information on your site, the responsiveness of a software feature, or the intuitiveness of your app interface. Your testing goals need to be specific and customer-centric, so it is important that you ask the right questions when planning.
Deciding on KPI or metrics you want to measure is a good place to start. For example, if you want to test the level of ease to find information on your website, some metrics you can use are minutes taken to find target information, number of steps taken, or both.
Don’t know what your testing goal should be? Don’t worry, it is very common for organisations to get lost in their own visions and miss out on potential improvements. In this case, first identify the main needs or problems your product addresses and those that it should address to develop more focused goals for your user test.
Step #2: Design a test plan
Now it’s time to write out your test plan. This involves defining a testing technique, your testing audience, testing task, and testing scenario for the project.
Usability testing is the most common and effective method to test user experience and get a good understanding of how a user experiences your website, software, or app.
Usability testing can either be moderated in person or unmoderated remotely. According to Adobe XD Ideas, unmoderated user testing offers quick, robust, and inexpensive results and it’s best used to test very specific questions or observe and measure behaviour patterns of your users. Supplement remote user testing with surveys to get more complete feedback, similar to insights you gain from in-person moderation.
Your user testing participants should be reflective of your actual users, so determine what demographics your service targets. For example, if you are an Australian-based women’s clothing boutique, your participants should be female users between ages 25 – 45 in Australia. Next, decide on what tasks you want to test. In order for your usability test to be relevant, make sure that you are choosing realistic situations that accurately depict your user flow. The goal is to make tangible improvements to your user’s experience, so you must start with a good understanding of how your users use your service.
Step #3: Find user testing participants
Once you’ve developed your test plan, you then need to find users to complete the test. As simple as it sounds, finding the right user testing participants can be an exhausting process.
Do your testers match the demographics of your actual users in terms of age, area of living, computer level, lifestyle, etc? On top of that, do they understand the testing purpose and tasks assigned? Do they have access to the testing platforms (i.e. IOS, Android, tablet)? Can they provide credible results in an unmoderated user testing setting?
Believe it or not, selecting the right audience can be the most crucial step in terms of the success of your project. In order to build user-centric experiences, your test audience needs to be reflective of your actual users.
To do this, you can make use of your existing customer database if you have one already, your social media networks, referrals from employees, or you can sign up for a user testing service. Luckily, there are many user testing agencies out there that can help you connect with the right target audience in a breeze, among other benefits. TestMate, a user testing agency in Melbourne, Testmate can connect you with real Australian users that are selected through a rigorous recruitment process to provide you with quality user insights.
Step #4: Conduct user testing
Almost there! Before sending out your tests, consider what format you want your responses in. Video recording of your participants interacting with your digital product is a popular choice, as it captures real-time reactions of a user along with any subconscious actions and patterns that can be invaluable. Other response formats also include audio recording, written feedback, and questionnaire. You can also combine techniques, for example having participants talk out loud about their thought process while attempting to complete a task in a screen recording. This can give you valuable insight into not only what is or isn’t working but why.
Now you are set. Send out testing materials to all participants and ensure all requirements such as testing tasks, testing environment, are understood by each participant.
Step #5: Review results
Finally, you need to collect and analyze all the responses received from the participants. Understand whether each error is functional-related (User Interface related) or experience related (User Experience related); compare it with benchmark data for each performance area and identify areas for improvements. Compile your findings into actionable takeaways that can help you improve your digital product and share them with your team.
Why Hire a User Testing Agency?
Outsourcing user testing has become a popular choice for many businesses. Here’s why:
- Time and cost-efficient.
User testing, unfortunately, is not a one-man job. Agencies leverage their team of experts to meet your marketing budget and deadlines. With a dedicated team at your disposal, testing agencies are able to provide you with a focused test plan that is suitable for your digital product and marketing spend.
- Dedicating expertise.
From test planning, finding user testers, to data analysis, you will have access to all the skills you need. Experienced UI and UX experts can ensure you are on the right track and provide you with actionable results based on their industry experience and technical expertise.
- Connect with the right users.
User testing agencies recruit a large group of qualified testers based on designated recruitment processes and review user feedback to ensure credibility and legitimacy. So you don’t have to worry about not having enough participants or unqualified testers.Looking for Australian user testers? TestMate has connected many businesses with real Australian users to improve user experience and customer satisfaction. Find out how we can boost your UX.
It’s great to have empathy, but it’s impossible to understand all users and predict their behaviour patterns. When you conduct user testing with real people, you’re able to gather invaluable insights that you might otherwise never even have thought of.