Measuring how successful your UX has been cannot be left until the final website is complete and ready for launch. The key to an effective user friendly site is testing each step of the way during the design, development and implementation process. User testing is crucial to UX.
User testing means giving one or more users access to a website or prototype and observing how they behave when using it. The purpose of this is to discover problems and gain insights that can be used to improve the final product.
The goal of user testing is not to eliminate every potential problem on a website; that’s simply not possible, especially if you consider how subjective this can be. The goal is to work towards creating the best possible experience for users by constantly improving and optimising.
The two biggest questions around testing tend to be “What do I test?” and, “When do I test it?” The answers are simple: Test as much as possible, as often as possible, and as early as possible.
Of course, in the real world, time and budget limitations will certainly have an impact on how much you can test but our goal should always be to maximise testing, in whichever way you can. Learn more in the Conversion optimisation chapter.
User testing follows a set process:
- Formulate a question to test
- Choose a test and prepare
- Find subjects
- Start again