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Every software, website, app, or other product designer or developer wishes to deliver the best services and user experience. Web and mobile developers want to produce the most helpful services in order for their customers to gain the most meaningful benefits.
However, how can you make that happen when your product is new? Well, moderated usability testing is the method to assess the usability, accessibility, inclusivity, and functions of a product or service. It allows you to engage with potential customers and participants to learn more about the drawbacks and potential setbacks of your development and design.
What is Moderated Testing?
Testing new or updated products and services is important as it eliminates or significantly lowers the chances of suffering from bad reputation. Let’s say that you develop a new game and it launches without any hassle but after a few weeks of use you start receiving feedback that the game instantly crashes.
That’s something capable of damaging a brand’s and business’s reputation. For that reason, moderated testing allows the use of expertise from trained moderators and setting up of a usability testing environment. Test participants explore resources such as the new website or a mobile app to perform specific tasks.
In turn, this leads to the evaluation of the product or service’s success. What moderated testing provides apart from the general usability testing is that it enables free conversations and review of the interaction of participants with the product. Hence, you are able to better understand the user interacts, reasons behind certain decision, and the potential problems in your service.
Types of moderated testing
Remote moderated testing
With remote moderated usability testing, you are free to engage with your target audience no matter where you are in the world. There is no need to use labs and convenient places which saves travel costs and location planning times.
Moderators are free to engage with every test participant and virtually explain and clarify any problems with use of their own devices.
On-Site moderated testing
Moderated testing can occur at on-site usability testing labs that feature enclosed rooms or hallways. Moderators and participants work closely as both are able to assess the situation and act accordingly.
Moderators remain in control of the test and utilize their knowledge to help get participants back on track with the specific tasks. However, despite the ability to note the behavioral patterns and attitudinal patterns, it is inconvenient and costly.
Moderated testing metrics
There are tons of moderated testing metrics that allow you to assess the success and track changes of your user experience strategy. More importantly, these critical metrics help with the assessment of the ongoing tests and reporting criteria to better judge the outcome and end-results.
Some of the metrics that make up a result-driven moderated testing approach include task success, abandonment rate, task time, critical errors, task completion success rate, etc.
Moderated testing carries significantly less risks in terms of the testing process as a moderator is present at all-times. They provide specific guidance and certain instructions in case of any ambiguity or wrong decisions by the test participants.
Overall, result-driven moderated testing approach can not only help to understand the failures and problems of your service but also allow you to understand user behavior and insights.
Sweta manages omni-channel marketing at TryMyUI and has previously worked as a Startup Growth Advisor for Plug and Play Center and 500Startups.