Congratulations on taking the first step!
Your business idea finally transitioned into a fully-functional product. You are excited and may be restless about launching it in the market, right?
But here’s the thing – you don’t know whether your new product or service would appeal to your target customers and what glitches the product/service might have when people start using it. For instance, they may or may not like the UI design of the product.
In addition, if you haven’t got your new product tested by the representatives of your target demographic, it might turn out to be a recipe for disaster!
That said, the more knowledge you have about every aspect of the product, the more flawless it is, the more successful it will be once launched. The only way to ensure it is to conduct usability testing. It’s the holy grail to ascertain that people will love the product.
By letting a handful of testing participants use the product in its prototype stage and discovering possible mistakes, a developer can save a lot of time and money on fixing bugs. After all, it’s the end users who know better if the user interface is easy to use or not.
Various usability testing methods, including in-person, remote, moderated, and unmoderated settings, can be employed to test the functionality of a product. There are essentially four steps to do this: create a test plan, conduct usability testing, analyse case data, and create a test report.
However, the testing team often makes some common but critical mistakes during the process. These mistakes not only deliver a skewed result, but also mislead the development team to make a product that does not suit the target users.
Let’s read about 5 common usability testing mistakes you must be aware of along with possible ways to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Setting The Right Task While Planning The Test
If you do not set a clear list of tasks that the tester should perform, they will just continue to fiddle with the interface, and that would not give you any concrete answers that you are looking for.
For instance, if your team wants to test whether the user is able to add the promo code successfully or not and you do not convey that to the tester, they will continue to aimlessly add products to the cart and skip the step to add promo code.
Here’s how you can avoid it
The first step while preparing for the usability testing should be planning the right tasks for the participants. Find out the possible blind spots that need revalidating and further fine-tuning.
Create a checklist for the tester to guide them through the testing process. It can be anything like running tests for user experience validation, security, ease of use, information retrieval, etc.
Mistake #2: Recruiting Wrong Participants
Imagine building an app like TikTok or Snapchat, and your testers are in their 40s or 50s. If you tell them to test the UX of these apps, the results will be good for nothing. The reason – they might not even have any interest in that area.
Therefore, it is very important to choose testers in the same demographic as your target users. After all, incorrect choice of tester leads to misleading decisions.
What to do instead?
Set a clear vision of your product’s target audience first and foremost. Prepare a list of the desired age group, their likes, frustrations, aspirations, income bracket, etc. Based on that list, start searching for test participants.
Ensure that the test participants have similar attributes as your target audience to get the optimum result.
Mistake #3: Testers Forget to Voice Their Thoughts
It’s pretty natural for testers to become engrossed while testing the prototype. But if they remain silent while testing, it would be hard for the developer team to interview them to get their detailed feedback. They tend to forget their every little thought during the interview and might omit an important detail, which might have been the critical information.
Here’s what you can do
Use audio-visual recording systems to record while the testers are testing the product and ask them to speak out loud while they are doing it. Encourage them to communicate what they are seeing on the screen while doing it. This way, during the interview and analysis, the development team can watch the clips later.
Mistake #4: Not Interacting With The Tester before The Testing
It is of utmost importance for the development team representative to meet the testers and discuss the aim of the testing in detail. However, often this critical step gets overlooked, mainly because they assume the testers are experienced about the process and aware of the general guidelines. That might not be the case.
Confusion while testing can lead to incorrect or insufficient information.
What to do to avoid this?
Always talk to the team of testers prior to the testing. Explain the process and the aim of the testing in detail and answer if they have any queries. Also, ensure that a representative will be there to help them navigate in case they need help. A morale boost goes a long way in usability testing.
Mistake #5: Using IT Terminology While Talking To The Tester
Developers often get carried away while conversing with the test participants and keep using design terminology. They tend to forget that not all participants are used to these terminologies like ‘UI’, ‘UX’, or ‘Sprint’, etc. This can confuse the test participants.
What to do instead?
It would be best if you keep in mind that you are not conversing with a team of developers. These participants might be ordinary people who are not technically trained. Therefore, use commonly used terms while making any conversation during usability testing.
The bottom line
With testing, comes suggestions. Test participants often advise or give recommendations to the developers to make it better. Some might say a particular colour looks better, some might suggest a different theme, or some might say a pop-up would be great to navigate better.
While it is essential to take note of the suggestions of the testers, ultimately it is the developer’s decision to come up with the correct fix of the issues without getting carried away with those pieces of advice. So, next time you are planning usability testing, consider hiring a professional or the services of a usability testing company in Bangalore to rule out these mistakes.