Learn how you can use user testing as a method to develop your products and services.
A user test is simply an occasion where individuals get to test a product or service that a company has created. The purpose of user tests is to gain better insight into how actual users experience a particular product or service. By studying user behaviors and reactions, it becomes easier to identify and address any issues before the product or service is launched. User tests can be conducted to increase understanding of customer needs and behaviors, as well as to test existing or upcoming products.
The significant advantage of user testing is that the feedback comes directly from the target audience. And even though a user test may not provide as extensive feedback as a survey, the feedback is often more qualitative and precise.
In order for potential customers to choose your products or services, you must be able to meet the needs of your target audience. And they can best answer what they need. By allowing users to test a product or service and simultaneously share their experience, you can gain a better understanding of how the product/service is actually used, why certain problems arise, and how to solve them.
If you are developing a new product or service, it is good to start testing with real users as early in the process as possible, even at the prototype stage. Problems or uncertainties discovered early are often easier to address, which will save you both time and money.
There are many advantages to conducting user tests, but like many other things, there are also some disadvantages that can be good to be aware of. We list examples of both pros and cons below.
A user test can be conducted both at a physical location and remotely, meaning in a video meeting. In either case, the essence is that participants should test one of your products or services and provide feedback on the experience. You provide participants with tasks to solve during the test session, and a moderator observes how they solve the tasks and where they encounter any problems. There are also user tests without moderators.
However, the exact process may vary slightly depending on the type of user test you are conducting, more information on the different types further down the page. But here’s roughly how it works in four simple steps.
There are several different types of user tests, and as a company, you need to identify which type of test will provide you with the feedback you need. Choose whether the test should be conducted in person, at a physical location, or remotely, and whether the test should be moderated or not. Below, we will go through how the different types of user tests work and the pros and cons of each type.
A moderated user test conducted at a physical location has a moderator or tester present during the session who can answer questions and guide participants through the test. The advantage of a traditional moderated user test is that it is easier to control the test environment and observe users. However, there are some logistical challenges with on-site tests, both for participants and moderators.
When a moderated user test may be the best fit
A user test conducted remotely can also be moderated, meaning it has a moderator or tester present during the test session. However, unlike “regular” moderated tests, the moderator and participants are in different locations. Interaction takes place via video calls and screen sharing. Participants join the test and receive instructions and tasks digitally, either in advance or during the session, and can conduct the test on their own computers. The moderator observes participants’ behavior and collects feedback
The advantage of this type of test is that it is flexible, often attracting more participants than physical tests. The challenge is to make the technology and interaction between the moderator and participants work seamlessly.
When moderated remote tests can be suitable
A third option is unmoderated remote user tests. This is also a remote test, but there is no moderator present during the test session. Participants receive instructions and tasks digitally, often through a program that can be downloaded to their computer. The program records participants’ behavior and reactions as they complete the tasks. One significant advantage of this type of user test is that participants can join the test and complete the tasks at their convenience. They are not tied to a physical location or dependent on a moderator.
It’s often easier to find participants for user tests conducted remotely because it’s more flexible and less time-consuming. Since you don’t need a testing facility or moderator, it’s generally a more cost-effective option. However, it may not be the best choice for a company conducting a prototype test, which often requires explanations and a bit more guidance.
When unmoderated user test may be suitable
To get the most out of your user tests, there are certain things you should think about more carefully. We list our best tips below.
Think through what you want the test to provide and set up a plan for what you will examine. To “take it as it comes” is not a good idea.
Make sure that all instructions and questions in the test are clear.
Ask open-ended questions to the participants. That way, there is a greater chance of accessing their innermost thoughts and how they experience the product or service they are testing.
Please note to conduct the test with someone to not miss anything important, if you are planning to do a moderated user test.
Customize the number of test participants based on the target audience. Five participants should be the optimal number, but it depends on how broad or narrow your target audience is. In some cases, two or three test participants may be sufficient, and in others, it may require up to 15 for the test to provide any value.
How to conduct a user test that provides value
1.Think through what you want the test to provide and set up a plan for what you will examine. To “take it as it comes” is not a good idea.
2. Make sure that all instructions and questions in the test are clear.
3. Ask open-ended questions to the participants. That way, there is a greater chance of accessing their innermost thoughts and how they experience the product or service they are testing.
4. Please note to conduct the test with someone to not miss anything important, if you are planning to do a moderated user test.
5. Customize the number of test participants based on the target audience. Five participants should be the optimal number, but it depends on how broad or narrow your target audience is. In some cases, two or three test participants may be sufficient, and in others, it may require up to 15 for the test to provide any value.
The smoothest way to find and book participants for user tests is to get help from us. We find and book participants from your desired target group for your user test. We also handle all administration and contact with the participants so that you can focus 100% on your research work.
The only thing you need to do is to specify what profile the participants should have and when the user test should take place. We ensure that the participants show up at the selected times and book new ones if anyone should have any obstacles.
Find out what it would cost to order participants for user testing