By Owen Fay . Posted on September 22, 2022

Every year thousands of products and stat-ups fail because there is no demand, a lack of preparation, and many other reasons. Often, these organizations launch without realizing who their target audience is, what their users want, and how they can fill that need.

One of the best ways to understand users is to test your concepts and designs before you build or launch the business. User research is practiced by the largest and most profitable businesses in the world. It is a process that allows a business to get key insights into the expectations, reactions, and feelings of the users.

The key to building a successful product and business is understanding who your users are, what they want, and how you can give it to them. User research is the secret weapon for determining a product’s acceptance and the best ingredient to its success.

Some of the first things a small company or start-up purchases is a multitude of software and management tools, they usually neglect user research h platforms or processes. Knowingly or not product managers spend about 30% of their time on user research-related tasks. Knowing why users are doing what they do within a product or service is just as important as understanding what they are doing. It guides the business in making decisions that can make or break user experiences.

This article will help you understand the value of user testing at different stages of development, and how you can implement it into your organization, so your teams can focus on work that creates the best products and services. The biggest takeaway should be; test twice, build once to get the most out of what you are creating.

What is User Research

User research is the process of studying users experiences, needs, pain points, and expectations through surveys, questions, observations, and other methods. High-quality research is more than just getting feedback, you should create a structure, goals, and processes for user testing.

Any business can ask questions, the key is to know how to ask the right ones in order to validate assumptions, understand users, and guide concepts to success.

There are many types of user research for different situations and feedback, understanding when to use each method is a good first step to creating a research process. Here are a few of the elements of user research to consider:

Strategic vs Tactical

Tactical research helps an organization understand what will help with growth, revenue, and moving the business toward its goals. For example, “What is the best brand name for my business?” or “Which ad headline will convert more users?”.

Strategic research looks at the long-term, like “Will this new market engage with our business?” or “Do we have the right target audience for this new concept?”.

Most start-ups and small businesses start with tactical research to set the groundwork for their organization and offerings. They later move to strategic research when they begin to grow and move through the stages of business growth. Platforms like Poll the People help organizations conduct tactical research much faster than traditional methods. Tactical questions about new concepts, features, or designs like “Which Figma prototype provides a better user experience?” will be helpful when creating a new design.

Qualitative vs Quantitative

Qualitative data and quantitative data acomplish different things. This data consists of observational findings that categorize how easy or difficult it is to use a design element, by gathering and interpreting non-numerical data. It can be utilized to gain an in-depth understanding of a topic, come up with fresh concepts, and understand user behavior.

Qualitative data used in usability testing can be text, audio, or video files. The information describes the background of particular activities and is not numerical.

Quantitative data is in the form of one or more metrics that indicate how quickly or easily an activity can be completed. The goal of quantitative research is to quantify the data and examine the numbers behind the test, data collection is in the form of counts or numbers that have a distinct value. Before using non-numerical data for statistical analysis, a researcher should quantify the data.

Determining questions like “how many,” “how often,” or “how much,” can be used for calculations and statistical analysis. The goal of this approach is to gather the numbers that explain an outcome or result. The number of votes, clicks, time in days, weeks, months, or years, and money are a few simple examples of quantitative data.

Moderated vs Unmoderated

User testing in a moderated environment requires a research professional or other mediator to observe and supervise users as they go through your user research test. Moderated research gives detail and the ability to follow users through their processes and experience. It can be useful when deciding on larger, strategic decisions and when there are still many unknown variables.

Alternatively, unmoderated user research allows the user to provide feedback on their own and doesn’t require as much time and energy to set up, conduct, or analyze. These studies can provide similar, powerful insights for tactical questions while eliminating potential bias from a moderator. You can use unmoderated research to understand if an ad, design, prototype, or other resources make sense to users and if it can succeed once it goes live.

How User Testing Can Help at Different Stages

There are many teams in the early development stages that are well aware of user research but might not know where to start. Companies that are scaling up might wonder if they are doing enough research and if their processes are the best for their business. Businesses at scale might have to revisit their user research or how to reorganize their processes to continue to grow.

Here’s how businesses at different stages can face their doubts, challenges, and optimize their research to be user-focused.


At this point, firms won’t have the funds for a team or individual dedicated to conducting user research, so they must embrace testing platforms and tools that enable small teams to carry out valuable research on their own.

Research at this stage doesn’t need to be perfect, but it should be done. It can provide insights, direction, and ways to improve the changes they are making. Businesses of this size should enable rapid, unmoderated testing that allows them to cost-effectively gain insights and understand their target audience. 


As an organization grows, so do their research needs. Stakeholders will feel the need to add a dedicated user researcher or research team to address a number of questions within the growing organization. While they are growing, the team can grow as its own entity and eventually add more researchers to expand the user testing efforts.

Small research teams can answer all of your tactical questions and begin to tackle strategic questions, enabling decision makers to create even better products. This is the stage where a more complete research process is needed, it will guide all of your decisions and lead you to even more expansion.

At Scale

Businesses that are operating at scale need to have a rigorous research process that guides all of their decisions and educates the organization on the direction of the company. Research at this stage can become a competitive advantage, and the organization should have the resources for constant user research.

Research should be systematic across the entire product life cycle, large teams of researchers work together to drive decision-making, growth, and optimization. Continuously measure the right metrics and create user experiences that drive the business.

How to Make User Research a Part of Your Process

Making user research an essential part of your strategy requires the support of everyone in your organization. Just like when creating campaigns, content, or features, you need to consider the needs and expectations of the users, this is the same internally. You need to understand what’s important to the people you work with, the stakeholders, and the business as a whole. Think about your organization and stakeholders as an essential part of making user research a valuable part of your strategy.

You need to show everyone that user research will help the business, grow your traffic, revenue, and become one of the most important things you do. This means displaying what the research does, how you can make it meaningful, and demonstrate how it actually does impact the business.

As a marketer or advertiser, you most likely know the positive impact user research can have. You have the ability to quickly and effectively meet user expectations, reduce risk, and spend your budget in better ways. You need to show the rest of the organization can benefit from research through measurement and impact.

Implementing user research into your business includes three steps: define, implement, and demonstrate.

Testing With Poll the People

When organizations don’t use a rapid testing process, the majority of the development can be ineffective and based on gut feeling. If you wait until after launch to determine whether a feature, copy, or design is successful in capturing your audience’s attention, you’ll frequently encounter problems or discover that you didn’t choose the best options. In a world where customers have higher expectations, speed is a significant competitive advantage.

Instead of launching a test and waiting days or weeks, Poll the People does the same process in about an hour. You can start getting useful feedback by simply uploading your concepts; you don’t need any coding or design experience to launch a useful user test.

Let’s dive into the quick and simple steps of testing with Poll the People in just 60 minutes.

Step 1: Sign Up For Poll the People

Users of Poll the People’s platform can sign up for free, start using the service right away, and deploy their first test in only a few minutes.

Use one of our professionally created survey templates to build a well designed test. Once you design and launch the test you will get feedback in an easy to digest results dashboard.

Step 2: Pick A Concept Testing Template

Once you sign up for an account with Poll the People, choose a testing template. Narrowing down your design options to just two choices is the best way to test your design. It allows users to only make one choice and compare options, giving you insights that validate decisions or identify issues.

Once you’ve narrowed your options down to A and B, select an expertly crafted template from our template library. You can also visit our examples page to observe how real tests are done.

Step 3: Pick The Audience And Number Of Responses

The audience and required number of responses are the next two decisions you must make. For most tests, about 100-200 responses are enough to create statistical significance and give you all of the data you need. Additionally, the test should be finished in no more than 60 minutes.

With our extensive segmentation and advanced criterion options, you can identify a segment of our panel that represents your target audience. All you have to do is choose the number of responses you need and any segments or advanced criteria that help you get valuable feedback.

Step 4: Launch!

The last step before launch is to review the entire test. Make sure your design options are correct, you are asking a test question that helps to achieve your testing goals, and that the audience size and segmentation are correct.

Now sit back and watch the responses come rolling in within minutes. No waiting for days or weeks, you’ll have all of your feedback in just an hour.

Step 5: Analyze The Results

As the responses come in, you can watch them in a live real-time feed. You can immediately start analyzing the responses. Or you can wait less than an hour for the full test to complete.

The first thing to look at is: Who won and by what margin? A wide margin means there is a good chance the winning design will be effective once it launches.

Then look at the feedback from the responses. Each respondent has to provide a clear explanation as to why they made their choice. Based on the winning design and the feedback from the respondents, you can then make your decision. That’s it, you are done with your test in less than 60 mins!

Every choice regarding a product is decided using the rapid testing framework, which incorporates user feedback. Rapid testing eliminates any uncertainty from the creation of digital resources by relying on user insights at every stage. An organization can produce better products with the assurance that their concept will satisfy users and is exactly what they’re looking for by testing faster and receiving better feedback.

Final thoughts

We covered why user testing is essential at different stages of development and how to apply it in your company so that your teams can focus on creating the best products and services possible. The important lesson you learned is to test twice and build once if you want to get the most out of your ads, designs, concepts, prototypes, and more.

Contrary to qualitative testing techniques that rely on expensive and time-consuming moderated research, Poll the People lets you test quickly and easily. If you’re ready to start saving money and making smarter decisions to understand your users, sign up for Poll the People or learn more by viewing our example test page.

Owen Fay

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