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Why you shouldn’t overlook user testing methods in UX design

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The fundamental purpose of user testing is to better understand and empathize with the core users of a digital product. Unfortunately, user testing is often an afterthought.

From card sorting to usability studies, user testing methods utilized in UX design are developed to include the user in the decision-making process. However, many projects are completed with only stakeholder feedback of a prototype. This lack of user experience testing occurs for two reasons: the perceived negative ROI of user testing coupled with the concern of scope creep.

The perceived ROI on user testing methods

From a designer’s perspective, the implementation of usability studies needs no reinforcement. Any UX designer who has ever watched people struggle to perform tasks using their prototype understands the value of user testing. Unfortunately, most executives, engineers, and project managers have never had the privilege of witnessing a usability test, so will likely need to be convinced of user testing’s importance in another way.

Data proves the increase in ROI

Usability is directly tied to customer loyalty and purchasing behaviors—studies conducted by Jakob Nielsen from the NN/g suggest that when roughly 10% of a redesign budget is given to user testing methods, there is an average product usability increase of 135%.

Enterprise case study

When users can easily find the information they’re looking for on their own, it decreases frustration and improves their experience.

Millions of users visit the support site on Mozilla Firefox each year. Many visits turn into questions asked on the support forum. With a design optimized for discoverability, within nine weeks of iterative design testing, Mozilla reduced support questions by 70%.

Retail case study

The international paint company, Dulux, knew the primary issue with selling paint online involved the question, “What will my wall look like when the paint dries?” To get around this, they conceptualized an augmented reality app called Dulux Visualizer to help consumers “picture it before you paint it” and hired Webcredible to build the application.

Through user research, user journey mapping, and usability testing, the Webcredible team produced an app that increased tester paint sales by 65% and stockist searches by 92%.