At eSignature, this is what we tell every single user during our testing session.
When we’re at the very beginning of a new project and validating a product idea through testing, we’re far away from proper usability testing (which we do later in the project). This is just one of the reasons we don’t refer to these sessions as usability testing or user testing; we instead call them product testing.
While there are multiple things to keep in mind when planning and conducting product testing, here’s a simple list that can help you focus:
1. Start testing the very first week of the project
As an agency, we start new projects with a short research phase followed by a design sprint. We end the workshop by creating a medium-fidelity prototype that we then test with users. We want to validate the direction we’re heading right from the start. What a great way to start a project!
2. Do more than "just" usability testing
Priorities in testing sessions change as a project evolves. The testing focus shifts throughout the project from concept to features, information architecture, user flow, and visual design.
3. Do it more than once
A very important thing for the entire team to realize is that early concept testing is by no means enough. Even though a project is underway, there should still be regular testing sessions as the designs get more fidelity, longer flows, and richer features as the final prototype is created and we jump into development. The most important thing is to guide those tests toward a desired outcome.
4. Take care of the details
As always in life, the details are not the details. We’ve seen completely different testing results when one or more details weren’t executed with care. Users need to stay in the shoes we’ve asked them to put on.
The most striking truth of the curve is that zero users give zero insights.
If you’re doing product design, you should do product testing. We hope this guide helps you in this process. For more information, get in touch today!