On the eleventh day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... user testing tips

Today, let’s do some user testing of the prototype we made yesterday. Before we begin user testing, it’s important to explain to people that they’re using a prototype. A prototype is not a finished product, so it probably won’t be beautiful, and it certainly won’t be fully functional.

Once we give the prototype to your users, we should aim to be quiet and observe how they intuitively interact with it. We can define tasks for them to complete, and take note of any questions people ask about how thing work. User questions are useful indications of features that aren’t as obvious as we thought, or even of features that are missing completely.

Before answering user questions directly, we should wait and see if the user can figure it out independently. If they can’t solve the problem themselves, we can help them out, but also make a note of what wasn’t working for them. Once the user has attempted all the tasks, we should note how many tasks were completed successfully, how long each one took, and what the user’s overall emotional reaction to the prototype was (for example, were they excited, confused, frustrated?).

Finally, it’s important for us not to be judgemental towards the user, especially if they are not using the prototype as we expected or hoped. User “mistakes” are crucial information that ultimately help us as designers to improve our final product.

5 minute challenge:  Show your prototype to a person who matches your product’s primary user persona (the one you identified on Day 4), and ask them to complete 1 or 2 tasks. Remember to take notes!

30 minute challenge:  First, watch this video on the user testing of fruit! Next, show your prototype to 2 or 3 people who match your product’s primary user persona (the one you identified on Day 4), and ask them to complete 2 or 3 tasks each. Remember to take notes!

More UXmas challenges

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Patrick Multani & Andrew Wilshere

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