What is User Testing?
To put it very simply — user testing is like asking your friends to try out something you made. Imagine you make a toy or a game, and you want to know if it’s fun and easy to play. User testing is similar but for websites and apps. People who didn’t build it try using it, and they tell you what’s good and what’s not. This helps make websites and apps better and easier for everyone to use. WeAgile is a digital agency based in London, and if you are one of our very lucky and happy clients — rest assured — we will be doing user testing on your new website or your new app. So why not get in touch today and find out more? But now — onto User Testing.
How User Testing Works
There are several steps that you’ll need to take to make user testing possible and efficient. We will go into great detail on some of these steps in the blog, but here is a concise summary of each of the steps.
1. Develop Your Digital Product:
This could be a new website, app, or any digital solution aimed at fulfilling specific user needs. This step forms the foundation for the testing process. Without the product (even if it is an MVP), there won’t be anything to test – simple as that.
2. Select a Testing Method:
Choose the appropriate method of testing based on your goals. (Read more about down below). This could involve usability testing, A/B testing, or even eye-tracking tests, depending on what insights you’re aiming to gather. Each method offers a unique perspective on user interaction and satisfaction.
3. Recruit Your Test Participants:
Identify the individuals who best match your target audience. Recruiting participants who represent your actual users ensures that the feedback you receive accurately reflects their experiences and preferences. Take our word for it. We go into detail about potential places you could find your test participants down below.
4. Pick the Right Testing Environment:
Decide on a suitable location to conduct the tests. This could be a controlled setting, a real-world scenario, or a remote environment if you’re conducting online testing. The environment should mirror how users would naturally interact with your digital creation. Most likely, your test participants will test your app or website at home in their own time. Just give them a deadline for submitting results (always), so keep reading.
5. Set the Test Duration:
Determine the time required for participants to complete the test. This involves estimating how long it typically takes users to navigate through your digital product, ensuring that the testing duration is realistic and doesn’t rush participants.
6. Distribute the Test:
Provide the necessary instructions and access to your digital product to the selected participants. This could involve sharing a link to the website or app. Clear guidelines ensure consistent results across participants.
7. Analyse and Interpret Results:
Collect and analyse the data and feedback collected during the testing phase. This includes evaluating user interactions, observing their behaviour, and considering their feedback. Look for patterns, insights, and pain points to understand how users engage with your new app or website.
User Testing Methods
You might be wondering how to do user testing for your product, as we mentioned several types of testing that could be done in the previous section. Well, every product, prototype, and feature is different — just like every company — so there are different ways to do user testing. There are many methods that can be used for user testing, so we’ll look at the three most popular methods WeAgile (a web design and development agency in London) has had a great experience with.
A/B testing happens when you divide your test participants into groups (could be two or more) and try out different versions of your product to see what they like more. This helps you figure out which version makes your customers happier and gives them a better time using it. With A/B testing, you show different versions of your product to your customers (or test subjects). It’s like trying different flavours of ice cream to see which one they enjoy most. Instead of guessing based on what you know about your customers, you get to see what really makes them excited. Even if you’re pretty sure you know your customers well, A/B testing might still surprise you and show you something new and exciting! There is a reason why huge companies (like Facebook) do A/B Testing regularly.
It does sound very similar to user testing, doesn’t it? However, it is not the same. Before we go into any detail, let’s see what the difference is first. User testing is the complete spectrum of interactions a customer has with your website or app. This could be — their feelings, thoughts, likes, dislikes, reactions, and actions linked to the item, starting from their initial encounter with it to when they stop using it. Usability testing, on the other hand, centres on how and to what degree a customer utilises your product to achieve a particular objective. While this contributes to the overall user experience, it isn’t the entire journey.
Usability testing involves giving actual customers (or your test participants) a product, prototype, or feature to evaluate and test its user-friendliness. Usability refers to how easy and practical a product is to use. By conducting usability testing, you can gauge how naturally your actual customers perceive your product, prototype, or feature to be.
Beta testing takes place in the final stages of your website or app development. It’s when you hand over what you’ve created to your customers and target audience, giving them a close look at how it will appear when it’s ready to be released. This testing phase serves as the ultimate approval from customers before launching into the market.
When should you opt for beta testing? It’s perfect when you’ve nearly finished designing your product and want one last evaluation before sharing it with the world. This step allows you to make any last-minute improvements to the user experience, ensuring it’s top-notch for your customers. Before entering the beta testing phase, other user tests should have taken place throughout the design journey. This is because beta testing is reserved for final and crucial updates to the product. By gathering customer opinions before this stage, you’ll likely only need minor tweaks during beta testing, if any at all. This strategic approach ensures that your product is well-polished and ready to shine.
User Testing Metrics
User testing metrics for websites and apps are a range of measurements that evaluate the user experience and effectiveness of your website or app. These metrics help quantify user interactions, engagement, and satisfaction, providing insights for improvements. Here are some user testing metrics that you might find useful for your website or app; however, remember that each website or app is unique (in its own way), so not all of these will be relevant to your digital project. These metrics provide valuable insights into how users interact with your websites and apps, guiding refinements and optimisations for a seamless and enjoyable user experience.
Task Success Rate: this measures the percentage of tasks users successfully complete during testing, indicating how well your design supports their goals.
Time on Task: the time users spend on specific tasks. This could indicate how intuitive and efficient your design is.
Error Rate: this metric calculates the frequency of user errors during tasks, shedding light on confusing or challenging aspects of your product.
Click-Through Rate (CTR): for links or buttons, CTR measures user interaction by showing how often they click on these elements.
Bounce Rate: for websites, this measures the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page, indicating a lack of engagement.
Navigation Flow: it maps users’ journey through your website or app, revealing any confusing pathways or friction points.
Satisfaction Ratings: these are often obtained through post-test surveys; these ratings provide insights into users’ overall satisfaction with the experience. You could also do short (or in-depth) interviews with the test participants if the time and resources allow.
Net Promoter Score (NPS): this measures users’ likelihood to recommend your website or app to others (be it their friends, family or promotion on social media channels). This reflects their overall satisfaction – the more satisfied they are, the more they will promote it – as simple as that.
Conversion Rate: for e-commerce sites, this measures the proportion of visitors who complete desired actions, such as making a purchase.
Scroll Depth: tracks how far users scroll down a page, showing if important content is being missed.
Time to Complete Tasks: it is what it says on the tin. This quantifies the time users/test participants need to finish tasks, revealing potential obstacles or ease of use.
Why is User Testing so Valuable?
User Testing is like a detective finding the exact problem quickly so your team doesn’t waste time and money on the wrong thing. It’s about investing in the right issue right away. While your team and designers might find your product, feature, or prototype easy to use, your actual customers might not. User testing shows you where your product could be better suited for your target audience. It points out the spots where they might get puzzled or annoyed. Since user testing happens before your product launches, you can use this info to keep improving it until you’ve crafted a user experience (UX) that you’re truly proud of.
Where to Find Users to Test Your Website or App?
Recruiting users to test your digital products is essential for gathering valuable feedback. Here’s how and where to do it in case you’ve decided to try and do it on your own. However, if you realise you will need help with this – get in touch with the WeAgile team via the form at the bottom of this page.
Your Network: Start by reaching out to friends, family, and colleagues who fit your target user profile. They can provide initial insights and help you refine your testing process.
Social Media: Post a call for participants on your social media accounts or in relevant groups. Explain what you’re looking for and the perks of participating (e.g. an Amazon voucher or a free subscription to your app once it launches). Platforms like Meta, LinkedIn, and X can be effective.
Online Communities: Participate in forums, discussion boards, or online communities related to your product’s niche. Engage with users, build rapport, and then invite them to test your product.
User Testing Platforms: Websites like UserTesting.com, Userlytics, and TryMata allow you to recruit users based on specific demographics. These platforms handle the recruitment process for you – easy but not always cheap. There are a couple of more you can have a look at – Helio.app (formerly Verifyapp.com), UXTweak.com.
Email Subscribers: If you have an email list, send out an invitation to your subscribers. They’re likely already interested in your product and might be willing to participate.
In-Person Events: Attend relevant meetups, conferences, or workshops. Engage with attendees and invite those who align with your target audience to participate in testing.
Universities: If applicable, approach universities and colleges to recruit students who match your user profile. Many students are open to participating in user testing.
Local Communities: Utilise local bulletin boards, community centres, or coffee shops to post recruitment flyers. This can help you find participants within your area.
Referrals: Ask your current participants if they know someone else who might be interested in testing your product. Referrals often lead to engaged participants.
Paid Advertisements: Consider running targeted online ads to reach your desired user demographic. Platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads can help you reach a wider audience.
With each click, scroll, and interaction, user testing empowers us to refine, innovate, and craft digital solutions that truly resonate with our audience. As we embrace the art and science of user testing, we not only create products that work – we create experiences that leave a lasting impact, forging meaningful connections between users and the digital realm. So, let’s embark on this journey of discovery, as we continue to elevate our design, enhance user satisfaction, and redefine the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of apps and websites.