UX Consistency: Test and Measure

Today, we’re looking at what we do once we’ve agreed on a solution and are moving it forward to development:

Test and Measure

The best way to see if an idea delivers on its promise is to test. There are many ways to test ideas but two methods are particularly useful in UX projects; testing the concept and usability testing. Now with a bit of luck, if you’ve followed the previous steps in the process well… there should be no major surprises here but it’s always a good idea to test to verify that you’ve followed the steps as well as you think you have:

Test the Concept

Testing a concept allows you to find out whether your big idea works with your users. You can knock together some well-designed wireframes for this and then, put the big picture in front of your users. Ideally, you want to have some of the visual design in place for this, because the way things look can make a big difference to our reaction to them.

Author/Copyright holder: brandon schauer. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

You can automate testing concepts using various packages which you can find online.

The best way of testing a concept is with some user interviews scheduled alongside, but any feedback you can generate is better than no feedback at all.

Usability Testing

The scale of your usability testing is going to depend on the complexity of your product, the budget you have to hand and the timeframes you need to deliver it in. At the most complex, you’ll be working in a usability lab and carrying out detailed analysis of every step of every processes that has been impacted. It can be hard to recruit participants for this kind of testing particularly if you’ve already done a lot of interviews, surveys, etc. up to this point. You may choose to work with an agency to recruit participants if this is the case.

Author/Copyright holder: K2_UX. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

You may decide to elect for remote testing and testing fewer parts of your solutions. In this instance, try and track your storyboards and test the new features in the way that you envisioned them. Does the new process make things easier?

Author/Copyright holder: leandro agrò. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The results you get from usability testing should enable you to make any final tweaks to your designs at this stage. You shouldn't expect major changes at this point and if you do encounter them – you may want to revisit the reasons why, so that you can better account for this in the early stages in future projects.

Header Image: Author/Copyright holder: Ben Watkin. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC 2.0

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