Editor’s note: In the article, Anastasia explains why UX testing should be an intrinsic part of your software design project and lists the advantages it has for you as a business. And if you are in search of a vendor, who provides professional testing as part of their UX design, be sure to consider ScienceSoft’s offer of UX services in general or usability testing services in particular.
To many new-to-the-industry product owners, user experience testing may seem like a somewhat redundant step of the UX design process. I’ve seen some customers go so far as asking their vendor to scratch user experience testing off the UX design services list, believing that it’s not that important for them and preferring to win back some time and money instead.
However, the consequences of fully omitting user experience testing can be drastic and lead to even more investments later on in the project. If you want to know why a successful software design can’t do without UX testing and wonder what possible benefits this type of testing can offer, this article is for you.
What is UX testing
User experience testing is a set of testing procedures to ensure that software you are planning to release on the market has a high chance of acquiring a wide audience. I’d also like to stress that quality user experience testing helps verify whether an average user of your software can perform or experience all the points in the following list:
- Instantly understand what tasks your software intends to assist with.
- Quickly figure out how to use your software.
- Trust your software with task assistance.
- Easily complete the necessary task.
- Feel satisfied with the way your software’s assistance is provided.
- Want to use it again next time.
Business benefits of UX testing
User experience testing helps make you confident that your software is of not just good, but of superior quality. But let’s delve into more detail of how this confidence translates into the business language.
The iterative quality control with user experience testing implies early user feedback. Such feedback allows early fixes, which take minimum time and money to implement. Without UX testing, many UX issues resurface on the development stage and require 150-200% more budget to deal with.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, one of the aims of user experience testing is to guarantee an easy jump-start for your audience. By letting users quickly understand how to use your software without any guidance, you get much faster user acquisition and effective user onboarding.
Rigorous user experience testing makes sure that the target audience is fully satisfied when using your software. Knowing that software is effective in helping them perform their tasks will motivate users to keep using it, thus building a large and loyal user base for you.
Whether you aim at promoting a premium subscription plan for your software or expect a higher number of placed orders via it with your company – you have to truly impress your users to expect this level of commitment. With meticulous UX testing in place, you can achieve the needed quality of user experience. And as one of ScienceSoft’s UX redesign project shows, quality user experience can increase conversions by as much as 600%.
When and how UX testing should run
To bring proper results, user experience testing should support every stage of UX and UI design. It means that the first lo-fi drafts, the wireframes that are created later, and the final prototype should go through user experience testing, thus helping the designers to tailor your software as close to the expectations of your target audience as possible.
It’s best to combine various types of UX testing throughout the project and their choice heavily depends on your vendor’s expertise as well as on the current design stage. Here are some of the most proven user experience testing techniques that ScienceSoft uses in its projects:
This method is best for gathering user input at the very start of UX design. It involves conversations with or online questionnaires for the target audience and helps the design team to test their theories about the users’ needs and mindsets before creating their first drafts.
The idea behind this testing technique is to offer users a few design versions and see which of them succeeds in generating higher user satisfaction. For example, a group of 5 users gets to test one version of the wireframes, while another group of 5 users tests the other version. The version of the group with better results – faster task completion, fewer user errors, etc. – is taken to further implementation.
Usability testing can be effectively integrated with any design stage that has deliverables. Usability tests allow real target users to try out an existing design version and review the experience. In case of a prototype, for instance, test users are asked to perform certain tasks planned out by the UX designers and are either observed in the process or asked to describe their experience later.
Make sure that UX testing is a part of your software’s design
Even the humblest sort of user experience testing is far better than no UX testing at all. The more serious the attitude to user experience testing is, the more useful and impactful the results are. Don’t hesitate to invest in quality UX testing to get higher chances of achieving high user adoption, loyalty, and conversion, and feel free to contact our team.