User testing is as tricky as it gets. Do you know the mistakes that you might be making which lead to un-actionable feedback? Here are some a few mistakes that we often see app teams making when they conduct user testing, watch out for these and you should see a severe spike in fixable issues within your app.
Are You Making the Task too Complicated or Vague?
The way a beta test is structured determines whether it is a success or a failure. If you try to gather too much information through numerous questions, you may irritate the participant away. On the other hand, asking too little means not getting enough feedback to make decisions or any actionable insights.
Developers can, however, create ‘Task scenarios’ comprising statements that explain the context of the task, the intended activities that participants must perform and some targeted follow-up questions after the activity is completed. Complicated and unmoderated tasks are best divided into smaller sections and run individually to minimize confusion.
Are You Asking Leading Questions?
During qualitative interviews for user testing, the interviewer must always ask questions that are open-ended and not biased. The tone in which the questions are drafted should be non-judgemental and criticism free. The questions must be so that the participant gets to lead the direction instead of the interviewer. Yes, the psychology of your user plays a massive role in the interview and testing process.
Experienced interviews begin the questions by agreeing with the participant’s sayings and leading them on to the next one. Incorporating affirmative small talk between the interview can really enhance the quality of feedback as it eases things for the participant. It’s not an exam, the user needs to be comfortable in giving you all the answers in the most unbiased format.
Are You Talking?
The fundamental rule of an honest interview is that the test facilitator must never talk. Since the main objective behind user testing is to accurately observe how the target set of users is interacting with the product, the moderator should adopt an active listening approach.
It’s only when a developer stops speaking and starts listening do they notice any hesitations or lapses in the user’s experience. For user testing, it’s best to seek a participant’s permission to record the session as they can be a valuable resource for improvements.
Are You Defending Your Choices?
App development teams find it very difficult to avoid answering any question about the design choices they made. Conversions around design choices can be particularly engaging for someone involved in that process. It’s common for test facilitators to end up defending their choices, especially if they have been a part of the development team. However, such behaviour can render the user testing process unproductive as it sabotages any changes of constructive feedback from the participants.
Do not conduct user testing to justify your own design choices. Let user testing allow systematic elimination of all likely points of failure to ensure that the design holds up. Developers must take conscious measures to come to terms with the fact that the design under testing is just a draft which will be improved subject to the feedback received.
User testing is conducted to identify problems related to usability, user satisfaction and data collection. Feedback and insights from user testing can help development firms make informed design decisions. We hope you are not making these common mistakes during the user testing process. Are there any other mistakes we did not cover above? Let us know and we’ll let you know how to fix it.