Websites, web apps, and mobile applications all have one thing in common - they are built for users. The particular field the app is in will differ from project to project. Who the users are will vary as well. But there is always a user group in mind when designing and building an application or website.
How can you make sure you are designing and developing with that group in mind?
Conduct user testing! This is the practice of using real users to test if your proposed solution actually solves the problem you are trying to solve, and if it is intuitive and user friendly in doing so.
Let’s take a look at why user testing is so important and the benefits of using this awesome product strategy.
You can increase conversions
User testing helps you as a designer or a developer nail down the best user experience. Because you are able to hear from real users how your proposed flow or solution works and doesn’t work, you can make changes that better suit your target audience's needs.
When your target audience has given you feedback that improves the users' flow through your app, you are more likely to see results! Are you trying to design an app that sells something? Smoothing out any identified confusion will make you more likely to sell! Is your goal email inquiries? Fixing a hard-to-find sign up form will make sure submissions are more likely.
You can save time and money
When you conduct user testing and user research before you actually build anything, you prevent needing to come back and rebuild entire flows later. This is a huge time and money saver!
Imagine designing and then building an entire V1 app that is designed for motorcyclists who need insurance quotes. You, yourself, are not a motorcyclist, but you design and develop a user flow that makes sense to you. Once the app is live, you get app reviews mentioning all of the important parts of motorcycles that are left out. Users mention it is very difficult to add their motorcycle specifics and the flow doesn’t make sense.
Getting this feedback would be devastating. You had already spent so much time and effort building this. Now rebuilding it will take additional time, effort and money. This might be an extreme example, but you get the point! If you had conducted user testing, perhaps using a prototype, you could have identified these pain points before building it.
You can identify important features
What makes your app different from the competition? Typically, it is the features you include. Because of that, it is important to know what features users want! How can you identify those features? You guessed it, user testing!
Conducting surveys asking what features users would want and order of importance can help you identify the most impactful features to plan for and the most important features to include in the first version.
According to a recent study, it was identified that up to 64% of the features available in apps are rarely used.
Some of these features are never used. Think about the time, effort and money wasted because actual users were not given a chance to talk about features they would actually use! Set yourself up for success by delivering useful features. That leads us to our last point.
Set yourself up for success
By doing user testing you can ensure that your product will succeed, even before you launch it to the market. It can help you validate any assumptions that you have made while planning the flow and features.
On the other hand, you can even understand the potential issues or red flags ahead of time. You can fix them before the launch, instead of allowing the users to experience them. In fixing these problems early, the overall response to your product will be better.
User testing is an invaluable addition to any product that is made and this is no different in websites and applications. Making sure your users have something that makes sense, takes them into consideration and gives them the features they are looking for will help you deliver something more successful. Identifying any issues or missing parts will enable you to build the right thing the first time. And taking your users into consideration will help your website or app convert more often.
User testing has so many benefits. I outlined 4, but there are no doubt even more. When designing or building your next website or app, make sure to include the end users in the process! You will not be disappointed in the results.