User testing is a practice that should be at the heart of any Cantilever design process. In the modern era we have the ability to reach testers from around the world instantly. It doesn’t have to cost much money or time, and can reveal critical problems before we allow them to see the light of day. In UX one can never truly know that a certain solution will work. Hard quantitative evidence is critical, but so is subjective, high-touch feedback from real users. We are as interested in what people think of the page – or what they think the page actually says – as what they do on the page.
We do two modes of user testing. One is Live User Testing (which is what this procedure covers). The other method we use is Service-Based User Testing , in which we use a service like UserTesting.com to run and record the tests.
Our user testing approach is based on the work of Steve Krug, a usability expert, author, and speaker. He wrote the seminal Don’t Make me Think, which we suggest that anyone involved in Cantilever design take the time to read.
What you Need
- Information on how many tests we need.
- Something to test. We test everything from finished, established sites to early prototypes and sketches. Modify the steps of the test to suit the specific situation.
- Test Prompts. These should be written by the PM or design team in advance of testing.
Select New if you are running a completely new test.
Select what you want to test.
Name the Test and either select the audience or begin setting up the test.
We name each test with the name of our client and what we are testing. For example: Handi-Lift (Residential Site)
If you Select Audience first, you can edit the audience you wish to capture for the test. When you have filled out each section select Done.
Select Build Test Plan.
You will start with the Beginning instructions for your users.
Enter the website, or link for the prototype URL. Then you can set up the scenario. You can View previous Tests here: https://app.usertesting.com/dashboard#!/study/2692396/details
Build your Test.
You can select from multiple options to help guide the user through the test. Remember you don't want to give away too much in the instructions as we want them to work through and point out any areas where there is a need to improve our UX/Design.
You can View Previous tests here to get an idea of how the test should run: https://app.usertesting.com/dashboard#!/study/2692396/details
Every Test is different so its important to get more information from the Design team on what they are looking for.
- Run the test.
Review the recording and take notes in the relevant Google Drive.
Review the recording and take notes, separated by test prompt. Try to summarize what the user interacted with differently than what was expected, and your abstract sense of what they were thinking, into clear unified statements about how the user did during a prompt and what they perceived. Your notes should be, at most, 2 pages of text (in Google Drive), around 500 words.
- Distribute the notes to the team.