User Testing Steps: How to Find Users, Test and Analyse Results
User Testing is a method of evaluating software, websites, games, and other digital products. Software is tested with real users to determine if the software is easy to use, performs well and offers a satisfactory user experience.
You can test and improve your app in many ways, but if you want to understand what your users think of your app honestly, you need to spend some quality time observing people using your app. It would help to observe what the user does on your app and why they do it. This is a step-by-step guide to user testing and setting up a primary user testing environment in your office or wherever you want to work.
User testing is a powerful tool for any web developer. It's a great way to get feedback on your product and understand how people interact with it.
It's also a fantastic way to uncover usability issues and see where you can improve your site's user experience.
In this article, I'll explain how to get started with user testing. You'll learn how to recruit users, what to look for when analysing the results, and how to analyse the data.
What is User Testing?
User testing is a way for you to measure the effectiveness of your website or app directly.
Your users access your website or app anonymously, so they are free to look around, find pages or features they like or dislike, and tell you exactly what they think.
The benefit of user testing is that you can precisely determine what your users want, need, and expect and make improvements based on that information.
A typical user test involves anywhere from 20-100 users visiting your site or app. You'll invite people to participate in the study, answer questions, and collect data from them.
In this case, you'll have 100 users visit your site and complete a survey to find out what they think about your site or app. Then you'll ask them questions about what they thought.
This method is considered more effective than the old A/B testing method, which compares two versions of the same website or app, with one version modified slightly, and the other untouched. In A/B testing, you only get feedback from a portion of your visitors and don't know if they're representative of the whole.
User testing gives you feedback from the whole group and an understanding of what the entire group thinks.
User testing is ideal for the following:
- New sites and apps
- Websites that change frequently
- Products or services that require input from the customer
What Should I Test?
When conducting a user test, you'll need to ask specific questions. Depending on your business and your goals, these questions could be as simple as:
- “How did you find us?”
- “What do you think of our layout?”
- “What are some things you'd like to see changed?”
- “What are some things you'd like to see added?”
You can also ask users to write their thoughts and feelings about your product or service. This can be a great tool to uncover insights into your target audience and better understand the type of people that use your product or service.
You'll want to pay close attention to the information your users give you and use that feedback to improve your site or app.
Can I Conduct My Own User Test?
For example, UserTesting.com is a web-based application that allows users to view, rate, and provide feedback on websites or mobile apps. The site works by letting you create a page or test your app and then inviting your friends or followers to participate.
Userlytics is a mobile app that lets you collect anonymous feedback from your users and then send them a link to the results. They can then share their feedback with others.
These tools can be an excellent option for people trying to gauge the effectiveness of a current website or app. They can also help gather feedback on a new site or app without existing content.
However, neither tool is intended to replace human testing. They're designed to collect and distribute anonymous feedback from your audience. If you run a user test yourself, you'll need to design a survey to help you understand your target audience.
To start a user test, you'll need to identify your target audience. Is it adults, teens, or kids? What kind of products or services do they use? What type of devices do they use?
Once you've identified your audience, you'll need to consider what you want to know about them. You may decide to collect their email address or contact information for later follow-up, or you may opt to let them respond anonymously.
Next, you'll need to determine which questions will help you learn more about them. Here are some examples:
- “Tell me something about yourself.”
- “What is your age?”
- “Do you live in this area?”
- “What do you do for a living?”
- “What are some things you want to see changed on our site?”
- “What are some things we could add to our site?”
- “What ways could we make our site easier to use?”
Once you've created a survey and collected your responses, it's time to analyse the data. How many people participated? Did any of them respond more than once? Were there any trends in the data?
After you analyse the data, you'll be able to determine which questions were most popular and which weren't. This can help you improve the user experience.
Why User Testing Is Necessary
The user testing process gives us insight into how well our content serves the needs of your audience. It also helps us identify gaps and opportunities to improve our products.
User testing is when individuals take a product or service through an experience. This can include a simple task like checking a website or making a purchase. It can also be more in-depth, like watching a video or using a mobile app.
During the process, individuals provide feedback regarding how well a product or service works, how much effort they had to put forth to complete a task, and whether they would recommend it to others. This provides us with a comprehensive view of the features and usability of a product, which ultimately allows us to make the necessary changes to provide a better user experience.
As we continue adding new content to our site, we want to ensure that we provide you with the best experience possible. Therefore, we use UserTesting.com to provide insights to determine if our design choices and content meet your needs.
It can be challenging to identify what changes need to be made to our site based on your user feedback. But the user testing process makes this possible.
In addition to identifying improvements, it also allows us to determine the best time of day to post on our social media pages so that you can receive the freshest and most relevant content possible.
UserTesting.com provides us with an efficient way to gather user feedback, which enables us to improve the quality of our content and products.
User Testing Process
Our team uses UserTesting.com to collect and analyse user feedback for our website. We then incorporate the findings into our content strategy and design. This process takes approximately one hour to complete.
We begin by sending a short survey to a sample of your audience. After collecting feedback, we compare the results with what we already know about your website and target audience. This helps us identify where we can improve and what kind of content users are looking for.
We then invite the user base to participate in a longer, more detailed survey. We ask them to complete various tasks and watch videos to give us an in-depth look into their experiences.
We use the survey data and video feedback to adjust our website or products.
The Six Basic Elements of User Testing
Creating a Prototype
The goal of prototyping is to test ideas out. Prototyping allows you to quickly get feedback from real users and determine whether a concept makes sense to them. Prototypes also allow you to test the effectiveness of your marketing materials, including your messaging, design, and copy.
The prototype is a visual representation of the product or idea. It allows you to test concepts and see how they perform before investing more time and resources into building the final product.
The most effective prototypes are low-cost, easy to make, and simple to test. You don't need to build a physical prototype to conduct a prototype test, but you need to plan to ensure your prototypes represent the final product.
Here's a list of things to consider when planning your prototype test.
Who Will Use It?
You need to know whom you're designing the prototype for. Knowing your users will help you create a prototype that reflects the intended user experience.
For example, suppose you're designing a website for consumers. In that case, it's vital to ensure that the user interface is intuitive, the content is engaging, and the website layout makes navigation as effortless as possible. If your users are technically savvy, you'll need to consider the features and functionality they need to complete their tasks.
Does the Prototype Have to Look Exactly Like the Final Product?
No rule says you must build a prototype that looks exactly like the final product. Sometimes it's easier to build something that looks nothing like the final product.
If you're building a prototype for an app that doesn't yet exist, it's a good idea to use a mockup to demonstrate how your app works. This way, you'll have a way to test different functions and features without building the entire app.
Is There a Specific Product That you Should prototype?
Sometimes, it's easier to make a prototype for a specific product. Keep the following in mind if your prototype is for a specific product.
You should only make a prototype if the product is still in development. This means there is little chance of a final product being delayed, so it's safe to start making a prototype.
Prototypes need to reflect the look and feel of the final product. In other words, the prototype should look like the final product—it shouldn't just be a sketch or rough mockup.
Putting Together a Test Plan
Gathering and analysing data first is essential to maximise your user testing success rate. To do this, we use a test plan to ensure that your website and app are optimised for your target audience. We then review the test results to understand the key issues, which helps us improve our products.
What Is a Test Plan?
A test plan is a document that specifies the specific user activities and scenarios you want to evaluate during your user testing. You can create your test plan or use ours if you're ready to start testing.
Creating a test plan is as easy as choosing a list of questions to ask participants. Once you've created your test plan, we'll send you a link to schedule a test session.
You can send your test plan as a PDF file to your team member, or we can receive it directly through your email address.
Why Should You Use a Test Plan?
A test plan is helpful for three reasons:
- It allows you to get feedback from real users.
- It helps you plan your testing strategy.
- It helps you find the root cause of any issues you identify.
Recruiting People, a.k.a. “Users”
User testing is one of the most effective ways to collect feedback about your product. It's also one of the most challenging things to do since recruiting many testers requires high motivation and dedication from participants.
When looking to test your product or service, the first step is determining the best users. That's why it's essential to identify people with the skills needed to evaluate your product and provide valuable feedback.
Your target audience could include the following:
- Users with prior experience with the product or service
- Users in a similar field
- People who know others who may use the product or service
Recruiting testers familiar with the product is crucial, such as friends and family members willing to provide honest feedback. If you're interested in collecting feedback from someone who doesn't use the product, you may want to consider using online forums or social media channels.
Once you have a pool of potential testers, you'll need to determine how many testers to invite. This is called the “sample size.” It's essential to determine the sample size before starting the testing process. Too few testers can cause your results to be skewed, while too many testers may cause the data to become less reliable.
After the sample size is determined, you'll need to pick testers randomly, ensuring that each participant receives an equal opportunity to participate in the testing process. An excellent way to ensure equal opportunity is to set up a simple randomisation spreadsheet, which assigns numbers to the testers rather than names or contact information.
During the recruitment phase, it's essential to keep track of the testers' feedback and ensure you don't over-ask or ask redundant questions. Also, try to have the testers complete the task without any external influence from friends or family.
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when recruiting testers:
Ask for multiple forms of feedback.
For example, ask testers to review the product or service on your website and provide feedback through a survey or interview. While your product may be easy to use, it may take testers longer than expected to provide feedback. Ensure you clearly understand the testers' expectations before sending them a survey.
Try to get feedback from people in different demographics
For example, you may want to recruit people from different geographical locations. If you're designing a website, you may want to recruit users from the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia.
Ask testers to rate the product or service from 0 to 10, with 0 being “not at all” and ten being “very much.” For usability testing, it's better to have a smaller range of ratings since it's easier to notice differences between them.
Make sure you record the responses to the survey and note the time it took each tester to complete it. You can also use this information to determine whether the testers' feedback was consistent and if there were any issues with the survey itself.
You may ask testers to fill out the survey or provide feedback in an interview several days after they first provided their initial response. This way, you'll have a more comprehensive view of their thoughts and feelings about your product.
When using the interview method, ask the tester to write down their feedback in a free-form way. As a result, they'll have the ability to provide more details.
If you're using user testing to gather feedback on your mobile app, ask testers to provide screenshots of the app and then ask them to describe what they like and dislike about it.
You may want to conduct several rounds of interviews. For example, after each round, you can share the findings with your testers to determine whether they changed their feedback and response.
Remember to thank the testers for their time and their contributions. They are a valuable part of your team and deserve to be thanked and compensated for their time and energy.
Finding a Suitable Testing Location
When finding a suitable location for user testing, the question is not “Where?” but “When?” Ideally, you want to be able to conduct a test in real-time — ideally, the same day or the following morning. That way, you can get feedback straight away.
When you're testing a new product or service, you might want to start by conducting a few smaller tests instead of a large-scale user study, which could take weeks or months. While smaller studies are less costly, they're also less conclusive, so make sure your small sample size is large enough to give you reliable results. If you need to collect data quickly, you might consider conducting a remote user study, where you'll invite participants to complete surveys over the phone or online.
However, suppose you're trying to gather data on a specific location, such as a business, university, airport, or hospital. In that case, it's vital to ensure that you get permission before starting a test. Depending on your research, you might need to contact the management of these locations to obtain the appropriate consent.
You may also want to test a mobile app on the go or in real-time. In these cases, it's best to conduct the test on a device similar to your target audience's smartphone or tablet. If you're developing an iOS app, it's a good idea to use a recent iPhone, iPhone Plus, or iPad Pro (with the latest version of iOS) as your testing device. At the same time, Android users might prefer to use a Samsung Galaxy or a newer model.
Ask your participants for feedback on their experience with the app, and use that information to improve the final product.
Running the Test
For a user test, start with three focus groups. Each should include a mix of users of different ages, gender, cultures, professions, etc., who reflect the target audience for your product.
Each group asks participants to share their current habits, thoughts, problems, and questions about your product. Then, based on the feedback from the focus groups, choose the two or three things you want to test.
Ask each group to answer one question using the following wording: “If you had this product, how would you use it?”
Include only one version of the product for the user test, and make sure that the product you show in the focus groups matches the version of the product you'll ship.
Remember that testing your product will provide valuable insights into what people expect from your product. However, don't test the functionality or features of your product until you're ready to ship.
Here are a few tips for running a successful user test:
- Be open to all the feedback you get. It's okay to make adjustments based on the comments you receive.
- Don't change too much at once. Users may feel confused and lose interest if you change too many aspects of your product at once.
- Make the most of every interaction with users. You'll learn more from those comments than just reading through the data.
- Start with a small group of users and expand as your product develops. This way, you can gain insight into users' behaviour with the current version of your product before making any significant changes.
- Use a facilitator to guide the discussion and encourage users to give honest feedback.
- Choose the best-suited group of users to test your product, as they'll be the most representative of your audience.
- When asking users to test your product, ensure they understand what they're doing. Have them explain how they'll use your product and what they expect to see in the end.
- Keep your focus on the user experience of your product. Don't get too bogged down with the technical details.
- Get feedback from users about their satisfaction with your product and willingness to recommend it to others.
- Try to identify why users choose your product over the competition. What do they like about your product? What are their problems with other products?
- Encourage users to talk about their expectations of your product, but avoid discussing the functionality of your product.
Documenting Your Test Results
It's essential to consider the limitations of user testing before concluding. For example, if you conduct a usability test for a website with poor load time, you might conclude that the site's navigation is confusing. However, you could learn that this confusion results from poorly implemented caching and loading techniques.
User testing can help you understand how people use your product or service, whether a software application, a website, a physical item or any other type of product or service.
User testing involves observing and analysing a user's interaction with a product or service. Observing what happens when a user interacts with the product or service can provide valuable insights into the product's design, usability, and user experience. In some cases, it may be helpful to use video recording and screen-sharing tools.
There are many different ways to conduct a user test. Some may involve live testing, while others may involve surveys or interviews. In most cases, user testing provides information about the product or service's success and helps identify potential improvements.
User testing is a great way to get feedback on your site and make changes to improve its usability. It's also a quick way to make money online.
To start, you'll need to find people to test your site. There are several ways you can do this.
The first option is to try Google AdWords. This is a pay-per-click advertising program where you bid on your product's related keywords. Once you start receiving traffic to your site, you can measure user behaviour and learn what they're looking for.
Another option is to use Google Analytics. This is a free tool that lets you see the traffic that's coming to your site. You can see where people are landing on your site, what they're looking at and how they interact with your pages.
Visit my website to learn more about user testing and how you can start your own!