Over the last year, we have run in-depth, face-to-face User Testing for numerous organisations, each at different stages of their lifecycle and with different styles and cultures. Our clients have come from many sectors, such as Finance, Fitness, Retail, Hospitality, Education, Leisure and Engineering, and their turnovers have ranged from zero to £5 billion.
However, despite these differences, one common characteristic I have seen in people who commission User Testing for the first time, is that they are brave.
I say brave because the first time someone invests in User Testing it is a step into the unknown. We are sometimes asked by teams that have not experienced user testing before “What will it tell us?”. And, of course, we can’t answer that. We can’t tell them precisely what they’ll discover about their product.
We can explain how User Testing will mean they deeply understand user behaviour and that User Testing will show them what is working well on their solution, what isn’t and why. We can even show them examples of how User Testing participants have suggested great new ideas. But initially commissioning the work requires a small leap of faith, coupled with a hope that the investment will deliver insights that lead to deeper user engagement, higher sales, greater loyalty and better conversion rates.
I had a great email from a client recently after we presented back our findings and recommendations. He had initially and understandably been unsure about commissioning User Testing, but having seen the findings, he was very happy he had…
“… I just wanted to say thanks for all your efforts on the UX review. It is very easy not to find time or budget to do such an exercise, but they are always hugely insightful, and this was no exception. It is invaluable. I am sure we will be back in touch with Userfy in the near future.”
Despite the fact that I have been working in digital and software for 17 years and my Userfy co-founder, Dr Sam Howard is a very experienced User Researcher, we can never predict what will be learned from each project.
The amazing thing is, once we see users getting confused or frustrated by something in a design journey, it’s easy to understand why it’s happening and how to fix it; despite not being able to predict the problem beforehand. Only in-depth, face-to-face User Testing does this. These unexpected insights are the real beauty of User Testing, but for Heads of UX, Product Owners, Founders, Heads of Digital, Designers and Marketing Managers, it just needs that bit of boldness to go ahead and do it for the first time.
If you are considering User Testing, you won’t regret it. In fact, it could be one of the best things you’ve ever invested in.