How To Improve Your Digital Product With UX Design Testing
The design of your digital product whether it is website or mobile app should be highly intuitive. That is where product UX, or user experience, comes in. This term refers to how easily someone using your site or app can navigate through it. The importance of this element cannot be overstated. If your UX is poor, then a visitor will quickly become frustrated with your site or app, and they will not convert. If you value sales, then you need to concentrate on UX when you’re about to take your site or app live.
What is UX Testing?
It is accepted as a matter of course that your site or app should be free of bugs and perform at a high level. If it’s a website, it should be adaptive. If it’s a mobile app, then it should be easy to use for a potential customer who is on the go. In either case, your site or app should encourage the visitor to take some clearly-defined action. That might be buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, following you on social media, etc.
90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text, according to the study.
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This means that the visual aspect of any product, including digital products, matters for us as would-be consumers.
The question, therefore, is how might you achieve excellent UX for your website or application that is going to delight and encourage your visitors?
The solution is A/B testing of UX design elements. It is this testing that enables your software designers to garner information regarding how potential customers see the digital environment that you are presenting to them. Is there anything distracting them, or are they able to immediately comprehend what it is that you want from them?
Let’s talk a little more about UX testing methods, including how they work and how to set them up right away so as to achieve maximum benefit from them.
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What is the Definition of UX Testing?
Just so you have a clear understanding of what we mean before we go on, UX testing is a technique that is utilized in user-centered interaction design. It is the evaluation of a product by testing it on a group of would-be users. This practice gives direct feedback on how a user interacts with a system and what they think of it while it is under development. The principles of A/B testing dictate that you try to get the opinion of individuals who are likely to want to buy your products.
Why Engage in this Form of Testing?
Let’s say that you have the basics of a design idea for a new website or app. You know, in essence, how you want it to look. You know what functionality it should have. However, you have some doubts about the whole endeavor. Will it work the way that you envision? Will people interact with it in the way that you expect?
The supreme test for UI/UX designer theories is the one where you put the beta product in front of the consumer so they can interact with it. User testing, UX design, and concepts of this nature should be on your mind if you are getting close to bringing your product to market.
User testing is a practical way to remove any guesswork that is happening on your part. You and your design team won’t have to say “we think it will work this way” any longer. Instead, you can say “we know that it will work this way.” UX and usability are nearly synonymous with each other, and you need to be sure that your product delivers in exactly the way you were hoping it would.
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Product design testing can help in the following areas:
- It allows you to make informed decisions
- You can confirm that a new design is going in the right direction
- You can decide which version of different approaches to implement
- It lets you figure out what is working best among specific UI or copy elements
- You can learn how tiny changes you make influence user behavior
- Design iteration gets better through testing
- You can use it to improve customer experience even after the product is launched
- You can use it to optimize conversion rates
Usability can be tied directly back to customer loyalty and purchasing behaviors. Studies conducted by Jakob Nielsen from the Nielson Norman Group suggest that when roughly 10% of a redesign budget is given to user testing methods, there is an average product usability increase of 135%. That is why some form of UI/UX design tests are so vital types of UX deliverables and methodologies to be applied into your design process and business strategy at all.
Types of UX Testing Methods and How to Do Usability Testing
Qualitative Behavioral User Testing
This is a type of user testing design that observes what a small number of participants do in various situations. That could be in their work environment as they go about their normal routine. It might be the completion of tasks within a recently-designed prototype. If you wish to test UX design, then this is a popular way to go.
The ROI of user testing decreases significantly with more than five users, according to the Nielsen Norman Group. That is certainly something to keep in mind if you elect to use this sort of test for your website or app. All usability tests, though, produce at least some degree of insight. That’s why they are one of the most popular sorts of UI/UX testing.
Recent research shows that 3-to-6 focus groups with 8-to-10 participants can identify 90% of themes within a dataset. These focus groups are typically conducted during a project’s strategy phase.
There are many different exercises that you can conduct with focus group participants. Those might include participatory design exercises, open discussions, or something else entirely. Of the various types of usability testing, focus groups are probably one of those with which people are the most familiar. They are a UI/UX design test that is set up in a way that won’t intimidate anyone who is likely to be involved.
Quantitative Behavioral User Testing
For this study type, at least 20 participants are required. With quantitative studies, UX researchers are looking for patterns within the collected data. The more participants there are, the more accurate the data will be. This form of testing is fairly easy to set up, with no UI/UX testing tutorial needed in most cases.
Heatmaps can show page scrolling patterns and mouse movements. Eye-tracking for heatmaps is typically performed after a new design is executed. This is one of the UX methods that is essentially foolproof in terms of the data it reveals.
This is an A/B testing example for which you need at least 20 participants. Like usability testing, these studies are performed to understand how a user behaves by completing a set of tasks. The difference is how the data is collected: remote viewing is employed, instead of one-on-one exercises.
Quantitative Attitudinal User Testing
The most participant-heavy test is quantitative attitudinal exercise. This A/B testing design is meant to understand what a large group of consumers thinks about a product. Answers to questions are compiled into meaningful charts and graphs for easy consumption.
Survey size can vary according to many different variables. Optimal results include a 5% margin of error (or less) and at least a 95% confidence level. You can use a sample size calculator to determine the required number of participants. Surveys are one of the A/B testing designs that can be set up very quickly and easily.
Guerilla testing is the simplest form of usability testing. You go into a public place, such as a coffee shop, and ask people about your prototype. Test participants are randomly chosen. They are asked to perform a quick usability test, often in exchange for a small gift (such as a free coffee).
It’s a simple, low-cost form of testing that enables you to collect some genuine user feedback. As far as A/B testing tools, UX, and other techniques for businesses to use, guerilla testing is one of those to which companies go back time and again.
Guerilla testing is also good for collecting personal opinions and emotional impressions about ideas and concepts.
Lab Usability Testing
As the name suggests, lab usability testing is testing run in special environments (laboratories) and supervised by a moderator. A moderator is a professional who is looking to obtain feedback from live users.
Lab usability testing works best if you require in-depth information on how real users interact with your product and what issues they face. It will help you understand the reasoning behind their behavior. The fact that this testing is moderated enables you to collect more qualitative information.
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Card sorting is an excellent method for prioritizing content and features in a user interface. The technique is relatively simple. All you need to do is place concepts (content, features) on cards. Then, you allow test participants to sort them into the groups and categories into which they think the cards belong.
Heuristic evaluation is a usability inspection technique implemented during the testing and design evaluation stage. You might hear about Nielsen and Molich’s 10 User Interface Design Heuristics, which are the guidelines for this style of design development.
This technique is meant to focus on specific UI design elements, which can also be referred to as heuristics. It examines user interactions with the product in question so as to assess what’s working and what isn’t.
A/B and Multivariate Testing
Many UX specialists consider A/B testing as a usability testing method. Usability is all about having individuals experience a product’s functionality. When you set up A/B testing, you make sure that those taking part in the test can experiment with two or more versions of a page/screen to see which one is most effective.
The usual goal of A/B testing is to find the page that will convert more consistently. The purpose of usability testing, meanwhile, is to find usability issues that prevent users from having a great experience.
These are the steps that you must take in order to effectively implement both testing techniques:
- Identify the elements to be tested
- Carefully map out the steps of the testing process
- Choose the right tools to implement the test effectively
- Avoid testing pitfalls that can skew your results
So, now you now that you need to enact UX testing if you want your website, app, or a similar product to obtain the desired results. If you take the product to live without testing it first, you have no idea what the feedback is going to be like from your would-be customers. That is why you must always allocate funds for user testing.
The only question that remains is which form of testing that we described is going to work best for you. The answer to that is going to depend largely on your business model and what the product is that you are attempting to bring to the market. The best advice is to test different approaches and figure out your best product design for your business.
Slava Vaniukov, Co-Founder and CEO at Softermii, has over 9-years of experience in the web and mobile development industry as a Software Architect. After getting extensive experience as a Senior Tech Lead and Mentor with the focus on MVP development and UX/UI design, Slava joined forces with like-minded professionals to start own company. Besides that, he is one of the authors at the Softermii blog and tech blogger featured at a wide range of other web resources.