Why do we need user testing?
The answer is really simple. You want to create a successful product. Your website will perform ten times better if you develop an efficient and convenient experience for your users, not for yourself. Your users have to understand your website and feel comfortable using it, not you. User testing is the easiest way to find out if you meet the needs and problems of your users. Is the process or solution understood by your users, or are there still problems that you can fix. This will save you a lot of resources and time in the design and development process. You will solve problems that real users have, not the ones that you think you should solve.
How is user testing done?
Many people think user testing is very time consuming and connected to bigger investments, like setting up a proper usability lab and paying for users to come to the tests.
But testing can be much simpler, e.g. guerilla testing with a mobile phone on the street or just using a computer with a web cam and testing in your office or in the users natural environment. Often you will manage to find testers for free or very little money.
To integrate your users in your website design and development process most efficiently, tests should ideally happen every week, or at least every two weeks, integrated in your development process or sprint.
The process of user testing
What should be tested? It is crucial to understand that not everything can be tested. Try to identify a few main questions or tasks for the test, ideally together with your development team. One way could be to use the analytics data of your website or digital product to find problems. The data might for example show that there is a high number of people who do not finish the checkout. So in this example one potential hypothesis statement that you want to test could be: “We will achieve an increase in conversions by XY%, if our e-‐commerce users successfully achieve their product purchases with the checkout design.”