Making designs more user-friendly, efficient, and interesting can be accomplished through research and design testing. By conducting your own user testing prior to the release of an idea or working with a team to build a new feature, you may very well have experienced this directly.
User testing could have been incorporated into your design process to enhance usability, customer experiences, and pinpoint problems that need to be fixed. This is the case because more effective, user-informed, and efficient designs are the result of user research.
However, there are instances when using your own insight during the design process can be effective, and there are times when user research is essential. There are situations when you don’t need to test every part of the design, but you shouldn’t approach your UX design project carelessly or with personal feelings.
Prioritization is always important; you know you have a set deadline and budget to test and create the design. You need to assess what needs to be tested, what can wait, and what can be done without testing. In this blog, we will cover when you absolutely need to test and 6 questions every designer should ask before testing.
When You Absolutely NEED to Test
If you are exploring a brand-new concept, feature, product, or service you should definitely test it. Most design processes that include creating brand new designs should have some kind of testing attached to them. On the other hand, if you are making small changes, you don’t always need to test.
It’s not worth wasting your valuable time and resources creating a design that won’t work, and without any research, you can’t make informed decisions or even know if the concept will be accepted by the audience. Don’t go into new designs blindly, test them to create the best design possible.
The best way to ensure your testing process is valuable is to use an efficient and cost-effective research process like user testing with Poll the People. The unmoderated concept and usability testing platform allows you to test in minutes, not days or weeks, and is more cost-effective than any other platform on the market.
The most important question is ultimately when do you need to test and when can you go with your gut?
6 Questions to Ask Before You Test
We have put together a list of 6 questions to help you determine if you need to test or if you can go with your assumptions to feel confident in your decisions.
1. Are You Testing a Core Part of The User Experience?
If the answer is yes, you should absolutely test! Whenever a new feature, concept, or design is a major part of the UX it is worth the time and money to test.
2. Will it affect the launch?
You should always run a user test if the design is directly related to the success of the launch. In this situation your gut instinct isn’t enough to have full confidence that the launch will go well, a user test will help create confidence in the launch.
3. Is there anything the user could have an issue with?
If a new design or feature addresses a user pain point or you make changes that could confuse users, it’s much better to test than to just guess. A test will determine whether you’ve addressed the issue, user needs, or if the changes might cause more problems for the users.
4. Does the new design make an impact?
A new design isn’t always better, there could be new problems or changes that could be less effective than your current design. Testing will help you understand if your changes make an impact on users and make their tasks or goals easier to achieve. If the new design is hard for the user to accept it might be worth a redesign.
5. Are you following a best practice?
If you are designing with industry best practices in mind you might not need to test. For example, if you know that a CTA button in the top right corner is the best placement, you don’t need to test that aspect of the design. If there is a well-established best practice that you are following you don’t need to run a user test to understand if it is effective.
6. Is the effort to test reasonable?
How much effort is the test going to take? Do you have the time and resources necessary to do it? If the idea of a test seems overly daunting, take a look at the project, not every part needs to be tested. Some aspects might absolutely need to be tested and others don’t. You can selectively trust the most important parts of the design that you know will have an impact on the bottom line.
While there are situations where testing can seem long and expensive, Poll the People addresses that concern. With testing that takes less than an hour and costs far less than traditional testing, you have the ability to easily test every part of your design. Take a look at our examples page to see how easy it is to test even the smallest aspects of your design.
Creating a new design for your website, business, content, etc. can be a difficult task and you don’t want all of your time and money to go to waste if the new concept doesn’t work. A great way to understand if your efforts are worth it is to have a user testing process. However, you don’t need to run a test, spend time gathering user research, or throw money at testing every aspect of your designs. Consider the plan, what you want to achieve with your user research, and the most important parts of the design to get the most out of user testing. Follow our six questions to ask before testing to ensure you are on the right track.
If you are ready to start making better decisions, optimizing your user testing process, and creating the best designs possible, sign up for Poll the People. You will get access to a user panel of over 500,000 people, a template library, lightning-fast test results, and the most cost-effective testing platform on the market, sign up for free today!
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