Have you ever wondered what your users think about your website or app? Do you see any obstacles in the user journey of your product? A common mistake that many business owners make is assuming they know and understand their user base more than they actually do.
Analytics tools will tell us WHAT our users are doing with our products - but not WHY. The best way to find out why a user is doing something (or not doing something) - is to invite some of your target demographic to carry out user testing and watch how they engage with it. This applies to both existing products and prototypes at early stages of development. User testing may reveal some interesting facts about your website/app and business that you may not have noticed or thought about when creating it. Here are some valid reasons why you should user test:
Learn your customers’ expectations
Whether you’re testing a prototype or an existing product, it’s important to understand how your target audience perceives and engages with it. User testing gives you the opportunity to introduce a concept to a user and then observe them as they interact with the product. A user’s non-verbal reactions are typically more insightful and honest than what they actually say. By understanding the user’s expectations, it takes the guesswork out of creating a product, allowing your users to tell you exactly what they need. This process will either validate your concept or show where you might need to make some changes for it to be successful.
Streamline the user journey
You may not realise that there are obstacles in the user journey of your product. Customers might take longer to locate a certain feature, they might not read important content that you assume is clear and easy to understand, there could be a distracting call to action that navigates them off your intended path or there could be a whole host of reasons for a user to not interact with a product the way you intended to. You can only find this out by monitoring how they use your product and getting direct feedback on how it could be improved. Identifying these pain points can really help you streamline the user journey and make your product more pleasant. It could also help you reach your objectives faster.
Get rid of clutter
Some websites and apps have lots of different features or too many steps that prevent users from finding the main objective of the product. It’s also often the case that these elements don’t always address user needs. User testing can reveal which of those features are important to your target audience and what can be removed. It’s a great opportunity to declutter your website or app, get rid of some elements that users don’t need and focus on the most important aspects to make everything simpler and more user-friendly.
Show your customers you care
User testing is also a very nice way of addressing your customers’ concerns and suggestions to move your product forward. If you have lots of complaints in a specific area, users would appreciate if this was fixed. Showing that you care about your customers and take their feedback on board will help you retain them and build a stronger relationship where they feel valued.
Test your product ahead of the launch
For those only developing a digital product or looking to add significant changes to an existing one, we strongly recommend carrying out user testing with the initial prototype or build before you commit to any major developments to live release. User testing will allow you to make conclusions about how your target audience will react based on this research. It will validate whether it works and is relevant or highlight any errors or potential challenges, which means you can potentially save face, money and time on any future developments to improve it.