Our goal is to gather any relevant feedback and information. We can carry out user testing throughout the product development cycle. Paper prototypes, higher fidelity prototypes, MVPs or a well-developed product can all be used for user testing:
- In an existing product, it can allow us to uncover usability issues.
- We can also use it earlier in the product development cycle to gather feedback about our concept or prototype.
How to run a good user test
The most common way to do user testing is to assign certain tasks to users and observe how they attempt to complete these.
- We are testing the application, not the user. Make sure the user is made aware of this.
- Communicate the state of mind and the context required, in order to adequately prepare the user for the test.
- Tell the user to 'think aloud' while working through the test tasks. This will help you to understand their thought process as they do things.
- It's worth pre-testing your tasks with a teammate or friend (test subject #0) to make sure your instructions are clear.
- You need to test with 5 users to uncover most of the usability issues.
- Don't be afraid to use your main competitor's website as the subject for the test. This can often give you valuable learning.
- It's a good idea to have 3 people on the call: 1 moderator, 1 tester, and 1 observer. The moderator talks to the user and guides him if needed, while the observer takes notes.
How to find users to test with
As the Hanno team is remote, we often conduct remote user testing.
Moderated testing with Skype
Simply schedule a call, then ask the user to share their screen while you run through the test. To recruit users:
- Either mine our own network. Try not to hassle the same users every time!
- Or use TestingTime. Current pricing is €200 for 5 testers. See [[User interviews]] for more info.
'Automated' remote testing via a 3rd party
There are several services which allows us to conduct remote, asynchronous user testing. You set up the test, upload it to their service, and the results get delivered to you. You can quickly conduct user tests with amazingly fast response times this way: usually it takes a few hours to get back the results.
- UserTesting: our usual pick. View pricing. The typical cost of 1 testing session is around $49 on UserTesting. If you're going to run lots of tests, you might want to consider using their subscription plan (upon application only).
- Netizen: Malaysian company--useful if you are testing in South-East Asia