"Pinpoint 80% of your usability problems in less than a month."
User Testing puts your design through real-life scenarios with real-life users. This ensures that the issues that are found are "real" and thus worthy of fixing. Redesign budget can then be directed toward the problems that will bring the greatest benefits to end users.
What We Do
We'll work with you to understand your target audience and then recruit people who match. We're experienced in recruiting all types of people from Joe Public to senior-level professionals with specialist skills. We'll also develop a test script that addresses key user tasks. We can also help you put together prototypes if you need us to.
Etre recommend a Usability Inspection before User Testing, so you can fix trivial problems before putting users in front of your design.
A typical test consists of 8-10 one-to-one sessions. During tests we ask users questions and set them a series of real-life tasks to accomplish with your product. We record the users' comments and behavior as it happens.
Analysis & Reporting
After analysing the test data, we'll provide you with a detailed report containing user comments, findings and actionable design recommendations. We'll also present our findings and solutions to your design team in person.
We'll help you to implement the short-term fixes we recommend. Plus we'll develop a proposal for future redesign to address the deeper usability and customer experience issues.
How Long it Takes
We usually need 1-2 weeks to recruit users, depending on which types of users you need. However, preparation, testing, analysis and reporting normally takes only 5-10 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I do it?
Testing can be carried out at various phases of development, from preliminary designs and prototypes to the finished article. But in general, the earlier you do it, the bigger the benefits.
When you need to build a business case for redesign. You know your design has problems, but how do you convince your boss? Nothing is more convincing than DVD highlights of person after person encountering the same set of difficulties. We can also provide facts, figures and testimony to support your proposal.
Before a redesign. Most agencies rebuild their clients' websites from scratch. All too often they ignore what works in the existing design, preferring to start again so that they can make their own mark. This means that the design never gets better, it just gets different. User testing an existing site identifies the stuff that works and ensures that it is retained in future versions. Etre believes strongly in evolution, not revolution - don't waste money unnecessarily.
When evaluating requirements. You've spoken to all the project stakeholders and gathered their input. Unfortunately you now have 100 requirements and only 2 months to implement them. Something has to give. But how do you prioritise without upsetting people? User Testing is the answer. Who could argue with the end users' opinion on the matter?
When evaluating prototypes. You think it should work one way, but your boss thinks it should work another, and Ted in Marketing has an entirely different idea. How do you break the deadlock? User Testing each concept will quickly tell you which direction will be the most profitable.
When you need to provide evidence of success. Don't let your project become the latest victim of budget cutbacks. Keep stakeholders bought-in to your project by providing them with detailed reports, statistics, user testimony and video confirming the validity of your design. There's no better way to instill confidence in those around you.
Before the inevitable flood of last minute change requests. You know how it is. We've all had to pull an all-nighter to make launch because Sue in Sales heard that "users prefer green links". User Testing means that products are validated by real end users before they are built. So no more last minute panic changes: "Actually Sue, 95% of our test participants preferred the design as is".
When you need to keep people motivated. Your employees want to work on successful projects. It's good for their career and self-esteem. User Testing provides evidence of success long before your product hits the market. This evidence helps attract, retain and motivate the best resources within your company.
What do you measure?
We measure performance by establishing, for example, how long it takes users to complete tasks, the paths that they take, and whether they are successful or not. We also look at user preference by analysing comments and opinions expressed throughout the test.
Where are the tests held?
We can hold tests in our usability facility or at users' homes and places of work (thanks to our mobile lab). We can also conduct remote testing over the web if time and expense is of concern.
Can I come and watch the testing?
Of course. In fact, we strongly recommend that you do. Oh, and bring your team too. It's important that you see the problems first-hand. Our usability labs allow observers to watch without interrupting via a video link.
Can you test our International users?
We can and do. We've run tests across the UK, Europe and in the USA too. We work with translators and local resources in each country to ensure that the tests are run professionally and effectively.
But we don't want to show our users something that doesn't work properly yet.
What are you scared of? We continually find that test participants are thrilled at the opportunity to be involved in decision-making processes. They love to be valued as experts. User testing shows that you care about your customers and are responsive to their needs. They are happy to accept "work in progress" when they know they are helping with development. Besides, their feedback will help prove your design is on track.