If you’re somebody interested in improving your product or service through customer feedback it's easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of advice out there, not knowing how to validate and test your product with users. When it comes to user testing (and how you can do it right), we draw on many different methods, tips and tricks. So read on for a guide on validating and testing your product with users.
A common mistake that many people make is to assume their initial idea will work. It can be difficult for businesses and entrepreneurs to let go of the concept they have in mind, but it's necessary moving forward - if your original idea isn't working, you must pivot or change direction. Let the research guide you. A pivot needn’t be a huge change in the idea, it can, but it can also just be a slight shift in direction.
In order to test comprehension, using wireframes is a great way to gauge an early response to your product. Wireframing allows you to assess if each person is understanding the idea at every step along their journey from discovery through purchase and beyond.
This is the experience between your product and its users. Users like the idea and what it can do for them, so now it's time to bring all their expectations together into one great flow of interactions.
This is often called UX writing, and serves two purposes at Emdash. The first purpose is functional, as stated above. But a second role for microcopy is important to us: testing your company's tone of voice with your target audience in their own language. Blending product design and marketing comms together early in the process can help you test MVPs very quickly.
The process of usabilty tests never stops - you always need to do some testing throughout the development cycle no matter how good things might look on paper. Testing, testing, testing makes perfect.
You've likely either released your beta or are about ready to release an official version for public use when you reach this stage. This is where all the tiny details come together and what makes your product ZING! At Emdash we don't get there unless our users can derive meaning from our work - we spend more valuable time upfront getting the concept, comprehension, flow, and usability right before adding the embellishments.
It typically involves showing your work to your peers to get quick, on-the-spot feedback. It has great value when working with engineers, to ensure feasilibility with features suggested by the design. Helpful for making sure the thinking is in line with the team and stakeholders as well, but in the long run inherently flawed through bias and subjectivity of everyone but the people that count — i.e the users!
This usually requires looking at screens, reading text, and seeing if they understand what is presented to them; i.e., whether or not a concept, product or flow holds value for its users. The focus can be really micro, such as seeing if a particular value proposition is clearly understood, or macro, such as checking if an onboarding process is too long.
With everybody adapting to new methods of interaction and a huge shift in working-from-home policies, remote video conferencing has become the norm. We can still pick up on important cues in user's behaviours and it can save time on logistics. With participants in the comfort of their home it means they are already in a comfortable and familiar environment.
Before conducting a user interview, make sure you have specific questions and tasks in mind. But but expect, nay, aim to keep this as loose as you can to allow users to explore and open up to you. These unscripted conversations often yield unexpected insights that lead to empathy for your target audience and better products overall.
Users may often perform actions they might not even realise they do, or deem unworthy of mention, and yet yield surprising and powerful insights, all while staying out of sight and mind. Empower yourself with the power of voyeur!
When interviewing someone while they are doing the task in question, we can actually observe them and see if your concept of solving a problem fits into their lives. Seemingly minor pain points they may experience, which are simply shrugged off as par for the course, can have major repercussions when designing a solution. It’s also an opportunity to really see if a concept can fit into their lives; if it does actually solve a problem they are experiencing.