S4. How To: Test Your Own User Experience
What is User Experience Testing?
At a glance, user experience testing is an exploration technique to measure the validity of your digital product. When you complete the look of a product, the design phase doesn’t end there. The designer has to examine software usability to see if they need to amend functionalities in order to enhance the overall user experience (UX). The better the UX, the more your users find value in your application and will keep going back to it.
Usually, UX is made up of four cooperative elements:
If one of these aren’t right, it will hurt the experience and thus impair your product. Our Senior UX Designer, Miguel Zabala, says: ‘In UX Design, two things are key: the features and the details. First, the features and value attract the user to the product. Then, the details that are added to each feature, option, and overall experience help to retain the user, encouraging them to keep using the product — whether it is a website, mobile application, or other software product.’
Defining Your Criteria
User group testing is important to help you understand how your users perceive your product, what they see as the most important features, and where they feel your product could do better.
You’ll need to try and recruit users according to select criteria. If you’re testing a new gaming app, for example, you might want to use testers who regularly use gaming apps. But there are also advantages to having ‘blind’ users test your apps. Users who are new to the industry or app type can test out your app to see where the software usability needs work for a ‘new’ kind of user. In this case, you would test your gaming app with a user who doesn’t ever use apps for gaming.
As you’re getting various users to try out your website or app, you’ll be able to apply their feedback to the following UX rules which correlate to those four crucial elements of UX.
- Does the site provide your users with an engaging and memorable experience?
- Are the visuals of your site or app consistent with the brand identity?
- Do the graphics or other media add value to the user?
- Is it easy to perform tasks? Are the sufficient help features like tooltips or tutorials?
- Are users prone to errors? What are the reasons for those errors?
- After a user makes a mistake, how quickly can they recover?
- Do online functions integrate with offline processes?
- Is the layout of content displayed correctly?
- Are social sharing functionalities working properly?
- Is content structured in a way that facilitates the overall product’s goal?
- Is content appropriate for specific consumer needs?
- Is content up-to-date and accurate?
User Experience: The Final Word
The user experience is just as important as a brand’s identity. You can’t always predict how your users will respond to your site or app, which is why it’s important to test it out. Digital products are always a solution to a kind of need – and user groups allow you to measure behavior to see if it’s doing its job. By doing this, you’re arming yourself with the right decisions to make your app as useful and as valuable as possible.