08 Aug UX – User Testing
User Testing is just one major step related to User Experience Design for responsive web design, one that comes with its own hardships. First of all, you need to collect a group of people with the same demographic as your target audience. You’ll need to pay them as well, and at the same time make them feel comfortable in what they’ll be doing for you.
User Testing can be stressful for both the UX Designer, the coders that actually made the site, and the tester themselves. Stresses that the tester might face are frustration with the site, feeling as if they must perform in a certain way because someone’s watching them and possibly fear that they will be the only ones to voice concerns about a certain flaw, and thus it will go uncorrected. All of these stresses are real and can urge a tester to perform in a specific manner, or say things they don’t mean. For example, if a tester is empathic toward others, and the sites designer is in the room, they may lie about how they feel about the site, giving incorrect data to work with when creating the final product.
Not all of these fears can be reduced for the testers, but most of them can be minimized with greater simplicity. The first fear to tackle is that testers may feel obliged to lean one way or the other depending on who is at the testing site with them. One way to do this is to allow your testers to test from the comfort of their homes. This removes them from an unfamiliar situation with unfamiliar people they may want to please and puts them in a more comfortable zone, where they’ll feel better about being themselves. This paired with ensuring that the demographics are appropriate can lead to a range of successful and meaningful tests that can help build the final product.
This sounds expensive, doesn’t it? It does, but it isn’t, there are websites such as User Testing and Erli Bird that allow you to pay your testers per test, (usually between $3-$10 USD). They allow their testers to work from the comfort of their home, so long as they have a quiet environment to test in to allow for quality tests. Since there is no one in the room with them, the testers won’t feel as if someone is searching for their approval and will feel as if they can speak more freely about what concerns them and what seems frustrating. All of this allows the tester to be able to provide useful and strong reviews of the site, highlighting all of the problems they have with navigating and usage.
User testing can be a stressful and straining endeavor. Between paying testers and the stress they may feel to give you good feedback about the site makes sites such as User Testing and Erli Bird useful tools in the tool belt of any User Experience Designer.
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