User testing: how does it work? Why should you invest in it?

13 Aug, 2022

1 min

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Your mother said she would test every single item of the product range you’re about to release. Is she well placed to do so? No. It’s a beard shaving kit. Don’t you want to run tests on unknown male users? No. It’s costly, and they may dislike it.

That’s probably the main reason why your user tests will be pointless and unrepresentative… and why your products may not fit your audience’s expectations.

In this article, we will discover how user testing works and, above all else, why you should think of investing in it. Ready to start running user tests? Let’s dig in!

What is “user testing” in a nutshell?

The customer is always the King”. 

This sentence goes on and on in your head… and for a good reason. 

Half the customers say they would switch brands after one bad experience with your brand. You may want to know what happens after more than one bad experience? Well, 80% of them are likely to switch. 

Running tests with end-users and customers - to have them evaluate your product, brand experience, or feature before final release- will help you enhance your user experience.

Here is an example of what a test could look like. These are Likert scale questions but you can also think of open or closed questions.

likertscale

Source: https://www.sitepoint.com/the-absolute-beginners-guide-to-user-testing/ 

Unfortunately, this practice is not as developed as it should be. Roughly 55% of companies said they run UX tests. Many companies don’t take the plunge because of the time it takes to run good user tests, the money it costs, and the sample group you need to find. 

Let’s see why you shouldn’t be part of them. 

Why should you invest in it?

User testing isn’t a revolutionary practice since it has existed for ages. Yet, the benefits can bring about a revolution to your brand or solutions. But, why? 

According to MeasuringU, the probability a tester finds an error while participating in a test on your website, device, service… is 31%. If 5 users test it, they are likely to find 85% of the usability problems. Interesting, right? 

So, here are the 3 main reasons you should invest in user testing.

1. IT Increases your revenue

Nowadays, people expect good UX and to enhance it, checking your core web vitals isn’t enough. By incorporating their input in your product or solution development, you can enhance their experience with your brand and thus, increase your customer retention rate.

If we told you that acquiring new customers cost 5x more than retaining existing ones, you may understand why you should try to keep your current customers on your side.

2. It helps you save time (and money)

50% of a developer’s time is used to fix issues that could have been avoided. Why? 

Reworking on existing elements requires more effort of modifications, and that’s not it… Fixing problems when your program is already online is 10 times more expensive than fixing them during the design phase.

3. You identify the elements that could damage the UX of your website 

Let’s say that when your bounce rate suddenly increases, there’s no smoke without fire. Something must be blocked. Thanks to the fresh insights testers will bring, you will be able to find where it doesn’t work: navigation issues, unclear messages, misleading CTAs, broken links…

How does user testing work?

Let’s get your hands dirty!

#1 - Set-up solid user testing protocols 

First, you should start by identifying KPIs that matter most for your business. What do you want to achieve through this test? 

This step is essential as it will allow you to design a test protocol with scenarios that users would follow.

#2 - Design qualitative and quantitative forms/polls 

To gather the most important information: don’t ask for their opinion. Focus on how they use your platform. 

Tips: think about both closed questions (Is the navigation intuitive? Yes/ No) and open questions (What slowed your navigation?). 

#3 Recruit testers (not your mom)

How to find the perfect profiles? Try defining your target audience by finding users who never used your website before. 

According to the 5-user rule (Nielsen), usability problems found in a test will likely decrease after the 5th user. Yet, 5 users may not be enough if your target audience is heterogeneous or you want quantitative results. If so: go for 100 users

Tip: to recruit them, we advise you to contact them directly and in a personalized way. Once identified, you can message them on business platforms such as LinkedIn to have them test your solution.

#4 - Run the test and thank your participants

Users will like to know how long the test will be. 

According to Hubspot, it shouldn’t exceed 30-60 minutes per user.

Be sure to allow sufficient time… and to make it digest

Then, thank them and start analyzing the results. These inputs will help you point out what needs to be enhanced. You will thus be able to improve and adjust your website or solution to make it fit your users’ observations. 

Fit your customers’ expectations to increase your retention rate 

User testing will help you get a fresh and unbiased perspective of your solution’s usability. By selecting potential users that never try your solution within your target audience and having them test your website, you can gather essential feedback to make enhancements.

As user frustration can lead to an immediate refusal of using this website, you may have to make all the efforts to retain them. User testing will help you do so by increasing your retention rate and your revenue. 

Are you lost in the world of user testing? Want to try it but don’t know where to start? If you need some support to conduct efficient testing, our team would be glad to help!

By Emma Jeanpierre

16 Feb, 2022