What is user testing?
User testing is an in-depth UX research method that involves observing how your users interact with your digital product in order to find areas of opportunities for UX optimisation.
Typically conducted in the later stages of the UX/UI design process, user testing allows us to validate the digital product’s design direction, ensuring that users can intuitively navigate their way through the product to complete their goals.
Learn more about user testing in the following sections:
How you can benefit from user testing
User testing sessions can make the difference between a digital product that flops and one that captures audiences, increases brand awareness and generates loyalty.
Here are three ways user testing can directly boost revenue for your business:
- Increase Conversion Rates
- Decrease Developmental Costs
- Optimise Time Usage
1UX & conversion rate optimisation
Validate design decisions and uncover UX optimisation opportunities with user testing services at Morphosis.
Our UX research team is experienced in extracting valuable insights from user testing sessions, allowing you to get access to first-hand feedback from real users on your digital product’s design flow and UI.
Furthermore, user testing can also help you discover reasons why users are dropping off your digital product after launch, highlighting conversion rate optimisation opportunities that are being missed.
2Lower development costs
User testing validates assumptions we have about our users, allowing us to identify the most important features a digital product should have.
Instead of spending time and money developing the wrong features that are based on incorrect assumptions, by conducting user testing, we can effectively allocate our resources to building features that truly matter for the end users.
Overall, this will lead to less change requests and will thus reduce the overall cost of designing and developing your digital product.
3Shorten project timeline
Conducting user testing sessions prior to the design process significantly shortens your digital product’s design and development timeframe.
By setting aside two to three weeks to find out how real users behave, what their thought patterns are, as well as their preferences and opinions, we can avoid spending days or even weeks redesigning and developing the digital product.
For your business, this means designing and developing a more optimised digital product, whilst having streamlined development time frames, allowing you to cut down on unnecessary costs and launch your product in less time.
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Different methods of user testing
User testing can be conducted in a variety of different methods to suit the project’s requirements, such as business goals, budgets and timeframes.
Here are two different ways user testing can be conducted:
1Face-to-face user testing
Individual interviews involve face-to-face sessions between the UX researcher and the interviewees. The interviews are structured with straight forward questionnaires along with tasks for the interviewees to complete within the digital product.
|Immense opportunities to build on questionsEffective in allowing actual body language, feelings to be shown||Requires a strongly skilled interviewer Can become quite time-consuming|
2Remote user testing
Remote user testing allows clients to test digital products without needing to be in the same physical location as the UX researcher. With the help of various software technologies, such as mouse tracking and session recording, key points of frictions that generally point to confusions can be recorded for UX optimisation.
|Can be conducted anywhereCost-effective as it can be moderated or unmoderated||Limited qualitative feedbackQuality of answers can be impactedCannot control technical issues|
Our user testing process
We have developed a systematised user testing process that allows us to extract unique insights from real users on both the functionality and the design flow of digital products we are building for our clients.
When conducting user testing sessions, there will typically be three parties involved:
- The participants
- The moderator
- The observers
Participants are people from the public who fit the target audience of the digital product. They can be recruited by our own team or by the client’s team.
The moderator will be the only person present with the participant during the user testing sessions. This will help create a comfortable environment where the participant will be less likely to feel pressured or embarrassed during the session.
The moderator should also let the participant know that we are not testing their capabilities, but instead, we are testing our own designs.
To avoid biases, the moderator should not be a designer or UX researcher that is involved in the creation of the digital product that is going to be tested.
Finally, the observer can either be a UX designer working on the project or the client. One observer will be allowed in the room with the participant to avoid intimidating the participant.
However, more parties can observe the testing sessions remotely through our live stream recording of the sessions.
Recording tools are beneficial to our user testing process for two key reasons:
- They allow us to review our testing sessions to identify further areas of opportunities for UX improvements.
- They allow us to share the testing sessions with our clients, allowing them to store and review the sessions again in future projects
For this reason, we choose to set up a face camera and a device camera during user testing sessions. The face camera allows us to capture the facial expressions and eye movements of the participants, helping us identify points of friction within the product’s design flow.
Meanwhile, the device camera gives us an overview of how participants interact with the digital product’s wireframe or prototype, allowing us to record and analyse how users navigate from one page within the product to another.
Now that we know which parties should be involved and what tools are required, let’s go through our 6-step user testing process.
Our 6-step user testing process:
Step 1: Set appropriate KPIs
Ultimately, the goal of user testing is to assess whether the digital product’s design direction and flow are answering the needs of the users. Hence, we believe setting the appropriate KPIs is the most crucial step to the user testing process.
Early on in the UX design process, many assumptions will have been made by both our UX design teams and our clients. The key purpose of user testing is hence, to validate these assumptions about the overall design flows of the digital product before further resources are invested.
For this reason, user testing sessions are meant to specifically test the various specific aspects of the digital product’s design, as opposed to testing the overall functionality or business viability of the product.
By setting specific KPIs for user testing sessions, we can ensure that our findings will contribute productively to the design and development process of the digital product.
These KPIs can include:
- Verify product wireframes with real users
- Test the product flow to discover points of friction
- See if users can complete their goals on the product’s wireframe or prototype
Creating tasks for participants
After the KPIs are set, we will move on to create tasks for users to perform during the testing sessions. These tasks are meant to help us uncover and solve design issues with the digital product and achieve our KPIs.
The nature of these tasks will depend on the particular digital product. For instance, tasks for an online booking platform, could include:
- Create an account
- Find hotels in (location)
- Make an online booking
- Go through payment process
Meanwhile, for Ecommerce platforms, these tasks could be:
- Find product A
- Add product to cart
- Select a payment option
- Find product tracking page
Step 2: Determine number of user groups
Next, we need to determine the number of user groups that need to be included in the user testing process.
The number of web personas that the digital product targets gives us a rough guideline as to which user groups should be included.
However, we also take into account the budgetary and time constraints of the project, as well as the business needs of our clients in making this decision.
For instance, even if we are designing both a backend and a frontend system for our clients, if their business needs are to cater deliver quality user experience to its target audience, we will leave out internal stakeholders from the user testing process and focus on ensuring that the product caters to its target audience.
As a result, we will typically pick one or two of the most important user groups to be included in the user testing process.
The optimal number of participants
Research from Nielsen Norman Group has demonstrated that the optimal number of participants for each test group should be 5 people. This is because the amount of new insights diminishes significantly after the fifth participant.
So by setting the number of participants to 5 per group, we can help our clients save both time and money on user testing while still gathering insightful data from the process.
Step 3: Create user testing questionnaires
As mentioned, validating assumptions about the effectiveness of the digital product’s design flow is a key goal in user testing. Thus, our UX research teams will also create questionnaires that are designed to help us achieve this during the user testing sessions.
After the participants have performed different tasks on the wireframes or prototypes, the moderator will start a Q/A session.
These questions can also be related to the assumptions and goals that we are trying to validate.
During this session, the questions that will be asked could be the following:
- How is your overall experience using the digital product?
- Did you understand what this app or website is about?
- How difficult was it for you to do task ‘x’?
- What did you like the most about the platform?
- What did you dislike the most about the platform?
- What would you do to improve the platform?
Step 4: Recruit Participants
The recruitment of participants can either be done by our UX research team or by the clients. As mentioned, incentives will usually be provided to the participants to encourage them to join the user testing sessions.
The type of target audience will determine the level of incentives required. The participants’ details that will help us determine the correct incentive include:
- Their job position
- The distance they will need to travel to get to the testing site
- The time they are expected to spend during the testing sessions
- The digital product that they are interested in
During recruitment, screening questions will need to be prepared. These questions will help us filter the right group of participants that reflect the target user personas of the digital product.
Step 5: User testing session
Once the participants are recruited, our UX research team will start planning the testing days to ensure that there are no schedule conflicts, as well as to shorten the timeframe required where feasible.
This process provides our clients with user insights in the most resourceful way.
Our UX research teams are able to conduct 5 user testing sessions each day, with each user testing session taking 45 minutes to 1 hour. Hence, if we are testing two user groups, the total days required for user testing would be around two days.
Below is a brief summary of the process we go through for each user testing session:
- Introduce users to session and explain our testing goals
- Have participants sign a consent form to allow us to record each session and potentially take photos to be used for marketing purposes later on.
- Start recording
- Start testing session (asking participants to perform specific scenarios and tasks)
- Conduct Q/A session
- Stop recording
- Clean up testing environment and get it ready for the next participant
Step 6: Results analysis & handover
Finally, we will compile the results of the user testing sessions into a comprehensive report for our clients, including our analysis of key areas for improvement.
Apart from the report, we can also provide two optional reports:
- Transcripts of the user testing sessions
- Translations of of the report and transcriptions
After creating the report and transcriptions, we will set a date to handover all our findings to the client. These findings will include:
- The final report with key insights and issues
- Transcripts and translations (optional)
- All video files of the user testing sessions (optional)
In the report, key patterns in how participants perform different tasks on the wireframe or prototype will be highlighted. If the UX optimisation required to resolve design issues are fairly minor, we will align with the client and immediately implement the design changes.
However, if the user testing session uncovers fundamental issues with the digital product’s design which requires a major design change, we will need to discuss our scope of work with the client to find the best solution forward.
Industries we’ve worked with
Our UX research and development team has worked with over 200+ industry-leading organisations throughout Asia.
We treat our clients as business partners, helping them scale their business and digitise their processes. This approach has allowed us to expand our global portfolio and work with the following industries:
News & Entertainment
- Burda Thailand
- Ocean Glass
- Das Intergroup
Travel & Hospitality
- Ask Ava
- Jon Van Kessel
- Bangkok Hospital
- Bumrungrad International Hospital
- Food Panda
- Arthur Online
- Home Connect
- AIP Internship
Learn more about our UX/UI design services
At Morphosis, we are able to provide a comprehensive and flexible UX / UI design service package that can be catered to your specific requirements. We are a full-stack digital consultancy, providing services from design and development to strategic consultation.
These services can all be included in our complete UX / UI design service package:
UX Research & Strategy
Our UX research team will help you discover user experience issues and craft a UX strategy that directly addresses them.
Our UX/UI Design team works closely and collaboratively with you to curate a digital product best suited to your users needs and goals.
Mobile App Development
With more than a decade of experience in developing mobile applications, we offer services for a variety of industries.
We provide creative and professional web development services to businesses looking to optimise their user experience.
Digital Product Strategy
As experts in the UX/UI Design field, we offer personally tailored digital product strategies to leverage your brand, and stand out against competition.
Digital Transformation Consulting
Our digital transformation consultants can help empower your business to confidently step forward into a digital future.