User testing is an essential part of the design and development process, however, some decision-makers might not be familiar with user testing or its benefits. If you’re struggling to get buy-in from others, here are some techniques you can use to convince them that usability testing is necessary.
The first step in selling the value of user testing is to educate decision-makers on the process and how it can help improve the product. Start by explaining what usability testing is and how it works. Here are the major steps of the process:
- Create a plan: The research team develops a test plan which outlines the learning objectives, product being tested, and criteria for participants. They then recruit participants and set up the test.
- Conduct testing: The research team asks users to complete specific tasks then makes notes about what users did. Almost immediately, you can see where users encounter problems and experience confusion.
- Identify improvement opportunities: The research team analyzes results and summarizes their observations across all participants. They then identify trends across all groups and outline recommendations to overcome issues.
Once you’ve explained the process, share some examples of how user testing has improved products and services in your industry. This will help decision-makers see the value of user testing and how it can improve the customer experience.
Highlight the benefits
User testing can help identify problems with the product early in the design process, which can save time and resources in the long run. It can also help to improve the usability and overall user experience of the product, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Here are some benefits you can use to convince decision-makers:
- Reach business goals: Products that have undergone usability tests are more likely to meet the needs and expectations of users, which means that it is more likely to reach business goals.
- Correct usability issues: Usability tests will identify issues and potential problems BEFORE launch. This saves time, money, and potential harm to the user’s perception of the product, company, or brand. It also minimizes the risk of the product failing.
- Improve product adoption and usage: Usability testing leads to better design decisions that will reduce bounce rates, increase the likelihood of user adoption, and lead to repeat usage. With basic functional and usability issues addressed, customers can then experience delight when using your product.
- Focus on value-added work: Direct feedback from the target audience will help focus the team designing and developing the experience on the right things. As an alternative, teams guess at what to focus on. Because they are not users, they always get this wrong.
- Resolve internal debates: Internal parties may be at odds about different elements of the experience. Usability tests serve as the ultimate “tiebreaker”. After all, no one knows what the user wants better than the user themselves.
- Develop user empathy: The process of completing user testing makes those involved with the effort more aware of users and their needs. This empathy causes them to think differently about the products that they create and their impact on users.
Sharing Success Stories
Sharing success stories of user testing can be a powerful tool in convincing decision-makers of the value of user testing. Here are two ways to use examples to sell the value of user testing:
- Share real-world examples from others, especially those in your industry: One way to sell the value of user testing is to share success stories from other companies in your industry that have conducted user testing. This can help decision-makers understand the impact user testing can have on the user experience and business outcomes. For example, you could share case studies or testimonials from companies that have improved their conversion rates, reduced customer support costs, or increased customer satisfaction through user testing.
- Share real-world examples from your site: Another way to sell the value of user testing is to share success stories from user testing conducted on your own site. This can help decision-makers understand the specific benefits of user testing for your company and give them a sense of what to expect from a user testing project. For example, you could share data on how user testing helped identify and fix a specific usability issue on your site, or how user testing helped you better understand your customers’ needs and preferences.
To further emphasize the value of user testing, you can also show decision-makers live examples of user testing in action. The Toshiba Usability Test video is a great example of a user testing session that can help decision-makers understand the process and see firsthand how user testing can identify usability issues and opportunities for improvement. There are also many other examples of user testing available online that you can use to demonstrate the value of user testing.
Create a Business Case
User testing is an essential part of the user experience design process that involves getting feedback from real users to evaluate the usability of a product or service. By conducting user testing, companies can identify potential issues and improve the user experience, ultimately leading to better business outcomes. In this article, we will walk you through the steps for creating a business case for having user testing.
Step 1: Define the Business Objectives
The first step in creating a business case for user testing is to define the business objectives. This includes identifying the goals of the company and how user testing can help achieve those goals. For example, if the company’s objective is to increase sales, user testing can help identify any usability issues that may be preventing users from completing a purchase.
Step 2: Identify the Costs and Benefits of User Testing
The next step is to identify the costs and benefits of user testing. The costs may include the cost of conducting the test, hiring a user experience designer, and the time and resources required to analyze the results. However, the benefits of user testing can far outweigh the costs. By improving the user experience, companies can reduce user frustration, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive revenue.
Step 3: Show How User Testing Fits Into the Overall Strategy
The third step is to show how user testing fits into the overall strategy of the company. This involves demonstrating how user testing can help the company achieve its business objectives. For example, if the company’s objective is to increase sales, user testing can help identify any usability issues that may be preventing users from completing a purchase. By fixing these issues, the company can increase conversion rates and drive more revenue.
Step 4: Outline the Financial Costs of Not Having User Testing
One important factor to consider when creating a business case for user testing is the financial costs of not having user testing. This can include lost revenue due to poor usability, increased customer support costs, and the cost of fixing usability issues after launch. By identifying the financial costs of not having user testing, decision-makers can better understand the value of user testing.
Creating a business case for user testing can help decision-makers understand the value of user testing and how it fits into the overall strategy of the company. By defining business objectives, identifying costs and benefits, showing how user testing fits into the overall strategy, and outlining the financial costs of not having user testing, decision-makers can make informed decisions about the value of user testing for their organization.
Understand the reasons why user testing is not in place
User testing is a critical step in the design process that involves testing a product or service with real users to identify any usability issues and gain feedback on the design. Despite the many benefits of user testing, not all companies are able or willing to conduct user tests as a standard practice. Here are some reasons why:
- It can be overwhelming: The process of user testing can feel overwhelming, especially for companies that have never done it before. It can be unclear who is going to conduct the testing, who is qualified to do it, and what steps are involved. However, once an organization gets the hang of it, user testing can become second-nature.
- Lack of time: User testing can be time-consuming, especially if a company is trying to test a large number of users or if they are testing multiple iterations of a product. This can be a significant obstacle for companies that are trying to balance time constraints with the need for quality testing.
- Lack of resources: User testing requires resources such as test participants, moderators, and analysts to conduct and analyze the results. Some companies might not have the budget or staff to dedicate to user testing, making it difficult to incorporate it into their design process.
- Lack of understanding: Some companies might not understand the value of user testing or how it can improve the design and usability of their products. They may see it as an unnecessary expense, rather than an investment in the quality of their products.
- Fear of negative feedback: Some companies might be afraid of receiving negative feedback from users, which could lead them to avoid user testing altogether. This fear can be counterproductive, as negative feedback can help companies identify areas for improvement and ultimately lead to a better product.
- Limited scope: User testing is often most valuable when it is conducted early in the design process, but some companies might not start thinking about user testing until later in the development cycle. At this point, there may be less time to incorporate feedback, and the design may have already been finalized.
Despite these challenges, it is important for UX professionals and leaders to prioritize user testing. The quality and usability of designs depend on the ability to gain feedback from real users. User testing can help identify usability issues, validate design decisions, and ultimately improve the overall user experience. By addressing the challenges and making a strong case for the value of user testing, companies can start incorporating it into their design process and reaping the many benefits it offers.