What is a user test and why does your digital product need one

Have you ever asked yourself why, if you have a well designed digital product that reflects your impeccable brand image, which covers all the important points of your business and provides relevant information, has a high rebound rate? Why don’t you find ways to generate leads that you need if you have a more than acceptable register form? Why, if you have a series of web tools which makes the lives of your clients easier, few use them?

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The answer is that it really does not matter how much you’ve studied the audience, how many benchmarks you’ve done to analyze successful products within the niche market, or how much experience your design team and development has had in it … the user ALWAYS surprises you.

Because this is the era in which the user has the power, the last word. It is the user who decides how to navigate, not the other way around. If a product, whatever it is, is not sufficiently intuitive and adapts to the way of thinking of users, it’s discarded. This confirms that we are in a moment, in which we should not continue to have the luxury of having sites and applications, that we are subjected to user testing

User tests are tests that are performed with a group of people belonging to the target audience of an application or website, in order to find weaknesses, problems and opportunities to improve the product, preferably before it’s released. These are of vital importance within the user-centered design process and can be performed in all stages of the process.

Within the definition process:

  • Test on wireframes to find insights of both utility and product clarity for users.
  • Does the user understand what this product is for? Are the first display options clear? Does the user easily find the main options?
  • The tests in this first stage, serve to fine tune the design of the tool or product, saving costs of reprocessing in the later stages.

 

In the design stage:

Once the wireframes are defined, the design of the graphic interface of the product is done, and the most relevant processes and pages are tested (in a functional or non-functional prototype).

At this stage, not only the positioning of key elements within the screen, but also clarity of contents, length of processes, perception and design elements such as colors, font size, and so on are evaluated.

 

When the web product is already in development:

Key sections and processes are tested, where the operation makes a big difference in the user experience, such as: contact forms, error messages or success of different tasks, loading time, popup windows, and other situations that could put in check the navigation and achievement of objectives.

 

After launch (Maintenance)

The testing process should not stop when the product is launched. This must be done on a constant basis, to identify problems and opportunities for improvement that are only detected with the time and the daily use of the tools.

It is an evaluation process that should be viewed in conjunction with other performance and analytical indicators that allow for continuous improvement of digital products.

Companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Google, conduct this type of test constantly within their platforms, offering users a better experience, learning from their browsing habits, content consumption and overall performance.

All this to achieve a successful product, which allows companies to achieve the relationship and conversion goals raised for their customers and end users, providing a satisfactory user experience.

And you, do you already know what users think of your site, app or digital product?

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