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Easy User Testing

Posted By Team

Some of you may know what user testing is, some of you might only have a slight idea and have only heard of it but do not know how it works and there are also some of you who may not even have ever heard of it. User testing is an activity which when correctly carried out it yields magnificent results. It is basically a technique which is used to validate a product by testing it on users. It is an area of UX or user experience design. Its main purpose is to validate or test ideas before implementing them or building them up. In general, user testing is cheaper than actual building in cases where the idea being implemented may not hit its targeted mark hence user testing gives an opportunity to avoid huge losses being incurred. User testing targets to fake reality and make it look and feel real in an effort to try and obtain valuable information early enough.

Integrating design in an agile development process

The key to successful integration of UX and UI design in an agile process is focusing on individuals and interactions. User testing is an area included in UX design and thatís why understanding how to integrate it in the agile development process is vital. User interface (UI) is the design of websites and software applications and make user interaction as simple and efficient as possible.

Why do user testing?

The main purpose of user testing is in validation of ideas, directions of design and also hypothesis initially before the main project commences. By doing this, you learn and uncover a lot of information some of which you had not expected. It gives you an insight in making correct decisions early enough and quickly. In user testing, you have the choice to make small and sometimes large decisions that will aid you in validation of your approach or idea aimed towards solving a particular problem.

How to do user testing

The key to successful integration of UX and UI design in an agile process is focusing on individuals and interactions. User testing is an area included in UX design and thatís why understanding how to integrate it in the agile development process is vital. User interface (UI) is the design of websites and software applications and make user interaction as simple and efficient as possible.

  • Sketches
  • Visual designs
  • Wireframes
  • Prototypes

Sketches

They are mostly used in high-level concepts. They are the lowest type you can use to test with and requires one to be present physically in order to explain them. By using sketches, you get to know exactly what might not be working well in your project and also if your idea has traction.

Wireframes

They are more or less like the blueprints of a building. They are mostly difficult to understand and often do not give the best feedback. They are more real looking then sketches and present information and details in a better form. Examples are: Balsamiq and Omnigraffle.

Visual designs

They are the best forms to test with. It is an easy way to validate early ideas and most importantly is that it looks real. They are mock designs which look and feel real but basically, they are fake. In making these visual designs, you do not need to start from scratch as you can download PSD files of most things that you require.

Prototypes

They give some of the most accurate and correct feedback but they are only appropriate once validation has been done. First you do some testing using sketches or designs then you build a prototype.

Small Scale User Testing and collecting and sharing feedback

Generally, on a small scale, it is best to do user testing in person as this will give you an opportunity to converse with the tester and the user. Sometimes, it is not possible to do it in person or you may need feedback quickly. An easy way to do this is to send something out to your friends and family and also to the extended network. It is more appropriate if you have a solid visual which people can see and there exists some applications that allow you post pictures and people comment on them e.g. Zurb's Notable and Verify.

You can also use wordpress which is free and simple. Here you create a password protected post and then send the link to testing participants together with the password and then they will give you the feedback in form of comments on your post.
You can also use email to distribute your ideas and designs and to collect feedback.

That Extra Tip
If you need professional user testing, we can help. Just contact us, specify the tasks you want users to perform and we will recruit your target audience from a panel of a 80,000 users. Once we get started, you get detailed feedback results withing the same day, often within one hour.