What is User Testing?
User testing is a technique and process of discovering the limitations of design and validity of your product and/or prototype. When a solution is found, design does not end here. The designer has the responsibility to listen to the users and evaluate the situation based on their feedback in order to provide the ultimate user experience to the end user.
Why is User Testing important?
You want people to use your product at the end of the day and from a business perspective, a useful product will reap more financial benefits that products that do not matter at all.
From that, we are able to link the utility aspect to the user experience of an application. The goal is not just about provide a quick solution, you want to make users love your solution.
Doing user tests will also help you identify issues early on. It ensures a more promising result and makes all your resources well worth its spend.
How do you conduct a User Test?
You will need a prototype that is ready for testing.
You need a plan, a plan that guides you what are the things you want to find out. This test plan should at least have a list of user flow that you want to collect feedback on.
Test with at least 5 users. There is a diminishing return for testing with more than 5 users. Here's why...(Check this link: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/why-you-only-need-to-test-with-5-users/)
The best way to conduct a user test is to do it face-to-face. Reason is that, as a product owner, you will be able to see the facial reaction of your users in real life. It is also easier to make them feel comfortable while you are guiding them through the process. If they feel comfortable, they will give you a more honest feedback.
Video recording how they interact with the product is also a method that is highly regarded. By doing this, we are able to keep this as a reference and study what's going on when they perform tasks. From that, we are able to conclude and iterate for next steps.
I have collected feedback, what now?
After you have finish your user test, you usually end up with a long list of feedback.
Are we going to take all feedback into consideration for the next iteration? No, we don't have to. One key thing here is that we need to carefully distinguishing whether the feedback are suggestions for bells and whistles to the product or ideas that actually make the core product better.
Suggestions are valuable. But we should focus on the feedback that are tied to user's emotions. We should address how they feel about the features and take extra care because it directly translates to how they value your product.