Do's and dont's of user testings

Get the most out of your time with your users

Mariam El Hussein-02 / 12 / 2015-News

As you develop your one-question, one-prototype, you might find yourself faced with the task of conducting user tests.

For those unfamiliar with this concept, user testing is at the core of user-centered design. It is the practice of evaluating your product (prototype) by testing it on your end user. User testing provides you with valuable direct feedback on how the real user will utilize your product and what hidden needs they might have.

Sounds easy enough?

Not quiet.

Honest feedback is the best feedback you can get out of user testing. However, it can be tricky and overwhelming for both you, the designer, and your users. Here is a few do’s and don’ts to help you optimize your user testing!

Do: show | Don’t: tell

When you first present your product, try to avoid telling your users about it. Just show them - Give them something tangible to touch!

Do: listen | Don’t: talk

As wonderful as it may be, avoid talking to your users about how great your product is. You are not trying to sell it (just yet). Let your users express their thoughts about it and listen carefully! Let them tell you all about what they think it does!

Do: observe | Don’t: explain

Let your users start getting familiar with your product and its functions and avoid being a “how-to” guide. Observe their behavior and interaction with your product - you might even discover a use you havenʼt thought of!

Now, I am not suggesting a strict "do listen, donʼt ask" attitude.

Do: ask | Don’t: answer

“Why” is actually often the most vital  question you should be asking during your user tests. Weʼll cover the importance of “why” in a future post!

Questions are the most powerful tool of any user testing.

Happy user testing everyone!