Many organisations are blissfully unaware that they are losing business because their users are getting confused or frustrated, so user testing at any time puts you ahead of the game.
Discovering UX problems and finding out how to fix them is excellent, no matter when or how it happens. But there are things you can consider that will make your user testing even more valuable.
User testing just before launch, having already invested considerable time and money in design and development, is a thousand times better than never user testing, but it can be a painful experience. At this point, issues are more expensive to fix, and you may not have the time or money to make the necessary improvements. User testing initial designs or prototypes early means changes can be made quickly and at a much lower cost.
"There's no point user testing the current site because we know it's' rubbish"; we hear this a lot, and on the face of it, it makes sense. However, we have repeatedly found testing the current solution is a brilliant way to understand users better, learn their problems, and establish how the new solution could better meet their needs. We use the current site to facilitate an in-depth discussion about users' wants, attitudes and experiences. These always better inform the new solution's direction, structure and features. We have seen great results from including the current solution in the user testing of the new design or prototype.
Sometimes the outputs from user testing challenge the beliefs of members of a project team. After the impact of the feedback presentation, and as the weeks pass, some of those findings are forgotten or watered down, or people put their spin on them; this isn't deliberate scuppering; it's just human nature. Where we stay engaged as part of a project team, we can champion and defend the users' needs and ensure they remain at the centre of design decisions. Userfy's extensive experience helping companies from multiple sectors, whose turnover ranges from zero to £10 billion, to test and optimise their user experience has allowed us to develop and refine a highly effective, tried and tested user testing methodology. We'd love to help you be even more successful.
If there is anything we could help with, please get in touch for a completely no-obligation discussion. Even if we don't work together, we'd be delighted to advise where we can.
Phil Randall (Owner at Userfy)