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“Congratulations! Your boss has green-lighted your user testing initiative. You are now armed with the time, budget, and resources to get the feedback you need to improve your product. But where to begin? The idea of getting your product ripped apart by users in real time can seem overwhelming—but in reality, the process isn’t that scary.” Margaret Kelsey shares 6 quick tips to make sure your first user test is anxiety-free—and a resounding success. (via @margaretannk)
“Everyone inside your organization can speak for themselves — advocating for what editorial, business, marketing or other departments want in a product. But users aren’t in those meetings, and a good product manager makes sure the product discussions and decisions consider what the users need and want. To do that well, a product manager needs a process of actually knowing what the users need and want. This is often accomplished through processes of testing and gathering feedback.” Jeff Sonderman summarizes the thoughts of several product managers at media companies on how to use user testing to get feedback on products. (via @jeffsonderman)
Do you have complaints from your users about your existing product? Do you want to validate an idea? Does your product meet your personal standards for quality? User testing can help you get the data you need to improve your product in any of these cases. The thing is, it’s not always easy to convince your boss or client to test with users. That testing takes time and money, and your boss and client may not quite understand why it’s valuable. Jonathan Weber explains why you should start user testing and helps you to explain the benefits of user testing to others. (via @JonathanWeberCO)
Do you find that you spend so much time meeting with your team that you don’t have time to get out of the building and talk to the people who actually use your product? Hannah Alvarez explains that “Remote user research can be the solution for PMs who don’t have time to go through time-consuming in-house research. By getting fast user feedback, you can validate your product ideas with your target customer base instead of trusting your gut.” To help you get started, she also shares 20 sample questions you should ask users in your target market in three stages of product development. (via @usertesting )
“It’s great to have lots of ideas but how do you refine these to those that will really resonate with your users and be a huge success? How do you then build these into successful products? How do you validate ideas and evidence required changes?” The folks at Keep it Usable explain that the answer is user testing and share 5 tests you can use to help you refine all of those great ideas. (via @keepitusable)
There are several reasons people do not do user testing at their company including time, money, and fear. Lee Munroe describes how he overcame those reasons and introduced regular user testing at his company. He also provides some tips on how you can do the same for your organization.
One of the reasons you do user testing is to overcome biases that influence your designs. One of the reasons you ask an outside group to help with your user tests is so that those biases don’t also influence your user tests. Krystina Edwards shared her experience of working with her inhouse interaction design group to improve her team’s user testing.
Card sorting is a “UX research technique in which users organize topics into groups.” Katie Sherwin explains how to use card sorting to understand how your users structure their domain knowledge so that you can organize information on your site in a way that matches your users’ expectations.
Nick Babich takes a look at the top 5 user testing methods (usability testing, focus groups, beta testing, A/B testing, and surveys), explains when to use each one and makes note of key things to remember for each method.
Zurb defines user testing as “a method for engaging would-be customers to learn whether our designs work in the wild”. This description of user testing includes four methods for conducting a test, explains how to run a test and describes how you can summarize the results.