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"You get one shot at a great first impression"
At leojbarnett.co we're a digital agency committed to excellence, user testing is a core practice for ensuring client satisfaction. When working with us, rest assured that your new website or app will undergo thorough user testing. If you're doing your own thing that's cool too! Take note!
A few key steps are essential to carry out professional user testing.
1. Develop and soft launch your App!
First, we need a tangible app, or solution addressing the specific user needs. We're likely at MVP stage by this point or have a Version 1 in peoples hands via TestFlight or live on the Appstore.
2. Select a Testing Method
Choosing a suitable testing method—whether usability testing, A/B testing, or eye-tracking tests—depends on the specific goals and insights sought.
We will always encourage integrating Google Firebase analytics into your app to track each tap of a button through "events" and time spent on specific screens.
You'll get a break down on most popular features per user and how often it's used.
Usability testing will involve simply connecting with your users and watching them perform the key journeys we we've made it for. Without assisting them we'll watch to make sure there's no confusion or bugs stopping that flow being as smooth as possible.
Interviewing the users after the real life test will give you a very clear idea on what's working and what's not.
Both internal data and real time spent with users is crucial to test an app for how well it's performing.
Monkey testing and stress testing is also essential to create a perfect app. This stage may be painful and scary but needs to be done! Breaking the app should be encouraged. Catching bugs must be seen as opportunities and very likely a ticket to avoiding negative reviews or turning away potential paying customers. Let's find them first!
Facebook groups and forums around your specific subject can be full of participants willing to test your apps. Speaking to the admins or moderator and explain your mission to reach their audience.
5. Pick the Right Testing Environment
Choosing an appropriate testing location, whether controlled, real-world, or remote, mirrors users' natural interactions with the digital creation.
Do you have an easy to access location to test an app for your users? A central cafe or pub might be good enough if you don't have an office.
When you offer to buy people lunch or a coffee you can gain enormous amounts of value in a comfortable testing environment.
Book Zoom calls in too. These can work fine!
To interview content creators for Reelshot we would pay for a coffee in advance on their website if they had a "buy me a coffee" link. £$10 or less. Then shoot an email afterwards noting this and asking for a call. They would always say yes!
How savvy can you get with reaching your audience? I'll always find a way.
6. Set the Test Duration
Determining a realistic testing duration is crucial to avoid rushing participants and ensuring authentic user experiences.
2 Weeks to 1 Month of testing would be advised for a fresh app. A good testing team should be able to stress test most apps in 1 - 3 days and provide a full report for developers to work on including screen recordings and details.
However app testing should never stop. It's an on going journey! New operating system updates all the time and we must test the app when these launch.
6. Distribute the Test
Clear instructions and access to the app are provided to selected participants, typically involving sharing a link to the website or app.
Keep your tasks super clear and try not to ask for too much to test as it can overwhelm a participant (if unpaid).
Apple also lest you distribute your new version to a portion of users. So if you have thousands of users and release a version with a bug it will only be seen by half your users and you'll be able to spot it and fix it before releasing to your full audience.
When you keep it simple and personalised your participants will test at their best.
7. Analyse and Interpret Results
The post-testing phase involves collecting and analyzing data and feedback, evaluating user interactions, behaviours, and feedback to identify patterns and areas for improvement.
The first things we fix are the high value/low cost. Low hanging fruit. Anything that might be stopping the key app objectives or blocking monetisation.
Often it's clear what needs attention when we ask the right questions and have analytics integrated thought out the app.
User Testing Methods
Every product, prototype, and feature is unique, and user testing methods vary.
Three popular methods include:
Dividing test participants into groups to try different versions of a product, helping determine which version resonates better with customers.
Focusing on how customers utilise a product to achieve a specific objective, evaluating its user-friendliness and overall ease of use.
Conducted in the final stages of development, beta testing provides a close look at the product before its market release, gathering ultimate approval from customers.
Why is User Testing Apps Valuable?
User testing acts as a quick detective, identifying problems efficiently and preventing wasted time and resources. It ensures that the product is well-suited for the target audience, addressing potential points of confusion or frustration before launch.
Where to Find Users to Test Your Website or App?
As mentioned, recruiting users for testing is crucial. Channels include personal networks, social media, online communities, user testing platforms, email subscribers, in-person events, universities, local communities, referrals, and paid advertisements.
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