Just because people don’t say anything about a product, it doesn’t mean that the product is perfect. User experience testing, which is often overlooked by stakeholders, helps know what the product, i.e., the website or app, lacks.
As designers, most of us assume that we know what users want based on our experience. And there are popular user experience design myths, such as:
- “If you are an expert, you don’t have to test your design.”
- “You are like your users.”
But the fact is that usability is a very dynamic field. User behavior can vary depending upon age, experience, and interest. The needs of users also keep changing alongside the evolving technologies. So, even if we know a lot about the field and services we work on, we have to involve the users in each and every stage of the design process to develop an efficient design.
“Involve the users” – This phrase is also often misunderstood with another popular UX myth, “Users can tell you what they want.” But accepting the users’ inputs blindly can lead to another problem. Because when asked, a majority of people give self-assured answers, most of which are incorrect guesses.
This is where user testing comes in. Most of the design problems are identified by observing and listening to the users while they use the product. The observations and findings are then discussed with the team members and experts for optimal design outcomes.
In simple terms, user testing is a method of usability testing, in which the end users use the product to see whether their goals are accomplished with minimum effort. During this process of usability testing, the defects of the product can be easily identified by observing the users performing the tasks.
User testing is done in three stages: planning, testing, and analyzing.
In brief, it all starts with sketching out the necessities for conducting the test and then testing the product with the users while the observers keep note of the user’s reactions and comments. And finally, based on the observations made during the usability testing, the experts in the team have to sit together and develop a user experience design to overcome those problems.
Now, most of you will be wondering what a stat or graph has to do with business success. But as we all know, the success or failure of a business is also identified with metrics such as sales figures, customer visits, and product return rates. But all of these are identified only after the product has been launched.
However, what businesses need is an indicator, i.e., a metric or a chart that predicts the success rate of the product before it has been released, so that they can prevent any loss in the long run. This is when the measurements of usability testing come in handy.
Some of the essential usability metrics are:
- Task completion rate
This metric helps measure the effectiveness of a site. It is usually measured using binary digits: 1 stands for task success, while 0 indicates task failure. According to a study carried out by Jeff Sauro, the average task completion rate is 78%.
- Time on Task
This helps measure the efficiency of the site i.e., how easily can a user achieve his/her goal. Time on task is nothing but the total time taken by the users to complete a task. Below is the example chart for time on task for four users:
- Task Level Satisfaction
This helps measure the customer satisfaction. At the end of each task, the user is provided with a post-test questionnaire to understand the task’s difficulty. For example,
Overall, this task was?
- Test Level Satisfaction
It helps to measure the overall ease of use of the product. The most commonly used method is SUS (system usability scale). It has 10 standard questions regarding usability, which is answered using the Likert Scale. Below is an example of a SUS score chart for seven participants:
User needs grow along with developments in the design industry and technology. So, a product should keep on evolving according to user tastes to remain competitive. User testing, as is the case with most usability testing methods, is one of the most effective ways to identify the user requirements. It helps develop a product that assists the user in achieving goals with less effort. A series of iterative testing and redesign helps launch a successful product.