Day #23: User testing tips

Day #23: User testing tips

The user testing process is something I have dabbled in, with various business ideas but not specific to UX. I have sent through examples of concepts to friends and family on several occasions, I learnt from trial and error that open ended questions were the way to go because if you set your target up with a yes/no style question they will give you a yes/no answer. The tips mentioned in this article were very helpful, I really wish I could get hold of the user testing scenarios that were done at 1 of my current jobs because the company insisted user testing was done initially. However, I can clearly see many issues with the structure of the layout and have my suspicions that this is not working for their persona group. Clear examples are icons which are not suited and a flow that doesn’t resemble what would be the focus of the persona, anyway see below for tips on how to improve testing situations

  • “listen: start by talking less and asking open ended questions
  • Agree on a time limit with the interviewee beforehand, (it’s just polite and professional in my opinion) but also you will naturally lose focus so stick to a specific amount of time
  • Team up: if you can have a co worker assist with taking notes during the process it will help to free up your time to maintain eye contact and focus on the interviewee
  • Come prepared: Have questions ready, but also be prepared for the unprepared. The interviewee may mention something very crucial that you never thought to ask about and you may want more information on it. So, don’t be afraid to digress.
  • Encourage the interviewee to think aloud: You want a narrative of their thoughts on the entire process, understand what they want and what they find difficult to accomplish in the experience
  • Share control: Always ask open ended questions which allows them to answer in their own way

About the type of questions, you can ask

  • Practise with a co-worker: Scrap all questions that have a simple yes or no answer
  • Ask specific questions, example “Based on the sites appearance would you trust this organisation?”
  • Ask why and how several times: Follow up with actions taken by the interviewee with asking why they pressed that button and why did they not like the way a specific offer sounded
  • Questions eliciting emotional responses: Allow for the interviewee to give you emotional answers as well, for example asking them how a layout looked to them
  • Don’t lead the interviewee on: Example “Isn’t this design powerful?” this also lends into a previous point of asking open ended questions. You want to keep the questions and comments as neutral as possible to avoid influencing the interviewee

Very informative in assisting with coming up with contents for testing, very similar to scientific studies. I will be doing more on some social psychology studies in the future as well.

Bye for now!


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