Imagine launching a new car without anyone having driven it first.
Of course, the car will have gone through rounds of vigorous testing before it hits the market, but what about the people who it’s actually designed for?
More often than not, user experience testing is an afterthought of the design process. Whether that be because it’s seen to be too expensive or other common UX myths, it’s not unusual for it to be left out of the process entirely.
However, for a product to be truly successful, it’s the users themselves that need to be able to not only get to grips with it, but enjoy using it. The importance of UX testing cannot be understated, but why is it so crucial and how can you ensure it’s not left out of your projects?
You are not the user
When you’re wrapped up in the design process, it can be easy to forget you don’t always know best. While you may know the product or business inside and out, you need to get your target audience involved to fully understand how useful it will be to them. Steve Jobs once said:
“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
But, this isn’t always true and can devalue the user testing process. Rather than telling your users what they want, take a step back and let them tell you. After all, no one knows what they want better than themselves. You might be surprised by the results.
Fresh eyes work wonders
It happens to us all; we look at something so many times that we stop noticing little details that are obvious to someone looking at it for the first time. Your users can provide these fresh eyes, helping you identify tweaks that need to be made. As a product develops over time, it can be useful to change the users who test it for this very reason and continually get new perspectives.
Speaking of new, users are rarely shy about voicing their opinions – that’s what they’re there to do, after all! You’ll be amazed at the ideas that can come from these, whether that be improvements to current features or inspiration for new components entirely.
Save on future costs
While it’s often argued that UX testing is too pricey, taking the time to involve your users throughout the process will save you money in the long run. A lot of time is wasted post-launch changing things that could have been identified before it was released. Think about it, if you fix an error spotted during user testing as early as possible, you’ll save your developer’s time (and costs) to fix it later.
UX testing can also help you identify where users may have issues with the product, which you can also amend before launch and save yourself countless hours of customer support further down the line. Though potentially time-consuming, user testing is worth the investment if done properly.
Increase future revenue
Not only can user testing save money, it can help generate it too. Products that are designed to meet users’ growing expectations are more likely to convert those users, making it easy for them to achieve their desired goal with your product or service.
A/B testing, for instance, can help you identify which design leads to more conversions. It will also flag issues that are preventing users from converting, as well as areas that are difficult or confusing for them. What’s more, creating a good user experience with your product will improve customer retention and loyalty to your brand. Launch a product with a poor experience, however, and your users will drop like flies.
Make it mandatory
In order to reap the benefits, it’s crucial to emphasise the importance of UX testing to key stakeholders and ensure it is mandatory for every project. No matter the stage or scale, users can be involved to help improve the final result.
Remember, user testing is designed to provide tangible feedback and evidence of what works and what doesn’t. Encourage stakeholders to see it as a help, not a hindrance and you’ll see a vast improvement in user satisfaction with the final product.
Our dedicated team of UX designers are here to help you make the best product for your needs, whether that be a brand new website or bespoke app. Get in touch to discuss your project and how UX testing can make a real difference.