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How To Use Usability Testing To Improve Your Product
Usability Testing best practices [Notion template included]
Hey folks! 👋🏽 Kavir here. Welcome back to another edition of The Discourse. Today we’re going to look at usability testing.
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While building a product it is important to create a product that’s intuitive. But intuitive is such a vague term. How do you make your product more intuitive?
Your product might seem intuitive to you, but that’s only because you’ve spent weeks and months with it and now you know exactly how it works.
But do your users feel the same way?
An important step you can take to uncover blind spots is to go for usability testing. Usability Testing answers the questions — are people able to use the product easily? What usability issues come in the way? How can you make things clearer?
How to get started
Decide what needs to be tested
List the problems that the product is facing in terms of discoverability and usability and then rank them by severity (how big an issue) and frequency (how often it is faced by users)
Here’s a free Notion template that you can use to prepare the learning goals and what tasks/questions need to be prepared.
Create the test
While creating the test, always give goals or outcomes to achieve to the users. Instead of giving step-by-step tasks. For example:
“Create a new whiteboard” — instead of click on plus button in top right of the page
This helps you identify gaps in user understanding between goals and what options the UX provides.
Choose the right demographic for the test — in terms of language, age, and location. Being able to target using other properties would depend on the tool you use.
Analyze the results
When viewing the video, make sure you take notes on even simple things like how users are confused or not able to figure out something quickly. You can even note down the seconds it has taken users to figure out an action.
You can also follow the same Observation, Insights, Action framework to distill observations from insights.
You can use empathy mapping to understand the difference between what people are saying. for example, what they are thinking versus what they are feeling versus what they are doing.
Communicate the findings
A good usability test includes clear takeaways from it. In order to get stakeholder buy-in, you’ll need to summarize the top level findings and give a clear action forward.
You can use the same Notion template to communicate findings in context, or create a summary on its own.
What you should not use usability testing for?
You shouldn’t use usability testing for feature requests. Because you don’t know if the users are in your target market or not.
You can definitely ask the testers what would they like to see in the app, but since they may or may not be in the target market, it is risky to assume that this is what the customer wants.
What platforms to use?
Usability testing is a powerful way to gain insights into your product to make your product legitimately intuitive. These insights can then drive meaningful improvements to your product and improve the experience for all users.
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Thanks to Dhrumi for providing feedback on early drafts of this piece.
📘 Read of the week: Reject the Algorithm - Nick Maggiulli (5 min)
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