December 16, 2015
Every project has different goals, needs and budgets; therefore some projects may require special types of testing. Here we explore the concept of Lean User Testing, coupled with Lean UX principles.
User testing is a vital part of UX Design, and in some cases overlooked due to the belief it’s too expensive or it will take too much time. You can sketch, conceptualize, research and design all you want but at the end of the day, the proof is in the testing. How your intended audience interacts with your product, what motivates them to return and engage and how they perceive it is the pure definition of UX. With so many affordable testing resources now available, it can be done quickly and with minimal costs. Test early, get it out there and get feedback.
Guerilla testing is a popular topic in the debate of how to conduct user testing. This model speaks of testing constantly and using friends, co-workers or even random test subjects at a local coffee shop. As this approach may work in instance such as organizing content or concept testing, we find that the best results of in-person or remote testing come from people who are actually going to be interested in using your product. Stay focused on your core demographic and test to that audience. Testing random subjects that will never use or engage in your product may not always produce the most effective result in the long run.
Define the Product Goals
The first step to conduct with your client is to define the product goals. This is key for a results driven process. This may seem like a no-brainer but a strong concept with clearly defined requirements can keep your team focused, cut down on debate time and keep everyone energized. Typically there are three types of product goals: creating an addiction/habit, meeting a certain business structure or owning an experience.
Tree Testing & Card Sorting
Tree Testing allows you to see how well users will interact with and find elements in a website or application’s hierarchy. It reveals whether the information architecture is easy to understand and can help with naming conventions that make sense to the user. This is extremely beneficial if the client insists on creating clever or unique navigational titles. Within tree testing, the user is given questions and looks for items in established categories, similar to actual browsing behavior. This can dramatically improve the navigation or taxonomy. Card sorting allows users to organize items into groups and then categorize and label the groups.
Optimal Workshop is a great platform to test both tree testing & card sorting.