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User testing is a successful UX research approach that helps improve the interaction of the audience with your website. But there are some common mistakes that user testers always make, resulting in failure to achieve the expected success. This article will cover those mistakes and help you out with their solutions.


Top 8 mistakes

  • 1. Not setting intentional goals

User testing is a method that aids in the clarification of real-world user needs and issues. Each of these tests should be designed to uncover a single user requirement. Today, it’s easy to find a testing technique on the internet and apply it to a project without question.

You’ll run the jobs aimlessly and get outcomes that aren’t very useful if you don’t specify sufficient goals. If you don’t have a goal to begin with, you won’t be able to tell if the product meets the user’s needs.


How to avoid this mistake

Keep in mind that user testing is a deliberate action. First, determine which design and user experience needs your team believes are significant and relevant. What you’re doing here is assuming that the problem does exist, which is called a “hypothesis” in science. A user test’s primary objective is to verify that these presumptions are correct. Therefore, it’s important to establish clear goals for your user testing process that keep your design and user experience needs front and center.


  • 2. Not setting appropriate tasks

If you don’t give the users clear and specific tasks, they’ll have a lot of trouble during the test. They’ll be messing with the user interface for a long time without doing anything useful. If your users are not following a specific navigation path in your design, you could be setting improper tasks. This could create an issue where the results of the test don’t offer the data you need to support previous assumptions. An example of this is participants being prompted to add things to a shopping cart, when the actual underlying issue that needs to be addressed is the discount voucher option.


How to avoid this mistake

The activities you provide to the participants should be based on your requirements and what part of the user experience you wish to address and adapt. Before you start user testing, find out which areas of your product’s interface need to be validated.

Consider how the activities should be designed to achieve precise measurements and results. Using online whiteboards and other organization tools is the easiest approach to organizing your findings. Another tool to help you set up appropriate tasks would be setting up tree testing to get a feel for what your users think the layout and navigation of your product should be.


  • 3. Recruiting the wrong participants

Suppose you’re developing a video-sharing app similar to TikTok, but you’re looking for people in their mid-40s who have little interest in such apps. It doesn’t take a wizard to see that the outcome will be the opposite of what you want. It’s a complete mismatch between participants and the app’s target audience.

Unfortunately, selecting the incorrect individuals for usability studies is a regular blunder. It occurs when the company failed to consider the product’s target audience, or “user persona.” This frequently results in a useless result, especially if it is used for development.


How to avoid this mistake

Your team should consider who the product will appeal to. In order to determine this, create a user persona – an imagined representation of who the user would be – complete with their interests, age, hobbies, career, and other pertinent application development traits.

To make sure you don’t pick the incorrect test subjects, you’ll have to go beyond their demographics. You’ll have to ask if the persona has used similar products before. It encourages participants to be more engaged during the test, resulting in more accurate data.

Read More: How to build an audience through user testing


  • 4. Leading users through the testing process.

It’s important to know when you should be helpful and when you shouldn’t be. No one wants you to interfere with a usability test, and you don’t want that either. If you want to get users’ unbiased thoughts, opinions, and feedback in writing, it is important that you are minimally involved during the testing process. If you interfere the person taking the test, you could end up with inaccurate and misleading results.


How to avoid this mistake

During the briefing, make it very clear to the participants that the test facilitators must not provide any assistance with the tasks. Let them know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to completing the test. Users are required to keep track of the process, especially when they become stuck, and their feedback is extremely valuable.


  • 5. Not gathering the users’ thoughts and feelings during user testing

You’re going to have trouble collecting qualitative data if the participants are quiet. If participants are thinking their feelings instead of speaking out during testing, they may have problems remembering their interactions with the product. In addition, you won’t have immediate reactions to the user experience from your users.

As a result, it’s critical to invite participants to share their ideas as they complete user testing. If you need to refresh your memory on their reactions, you can use video recording and revisit the segments later.


How to avoid this mistake

Make sure the participants understand how crucial it is to speak up when interacting with the product. Allow them to describe what they see on the screen and how navigating through tasks makes them feel.


  • 6. Using jargon with users

When speaking with users, developers can sometimes get carried away with the lingo. Terms like ‘UX,’ ‘UI,’ and ‘sprint’ are reserved for the tech community, but not for the general public. Users will struggle to understand what is being presented if you use technical terms like these.


How to avoid this mistake

You must remember that you are speaking to a group of non-technical folks, not developers. When speaking to the participants or writing usability tasks, use common language and make sure they understand what you’re saying.


  • 7. Only performing one phase of user testing

You’re jeopardizing the product by only conducting one round of user testing. You shouldn’t consider the results of a single test to be conclusive and error-free. It is important to conduct multiple rounds of user testing to have more statistically significant data that points towards the changes you need to make.


How to avoid this mistake

Increase the number of usability tests strategically. At the very least, two distinct tests will be required during the prototype and UI design stages. Running two tests before beginning development reduces the likelihood of delivering a flawed product.


  • 8. Testing to “confirm” your ideas

Humans are susceptible to “confirmation bias,” which is the tendency to lean toward certain viewpoints. In user testing, we fail to be objective and design the entire test around our preferences.

You’re destroying the purpose of user testing if you use it to validate your ideas. The goal of the test is to see and measure how people engage with the product in a neutral way. It’s not about living up to your personal standards and expectations.


How to avoid this mistake

When you conduct user testing, you must be objective and neutral in how you execute things. Write tasks from a neutral perspective. Recuse yourself when the test is being administered, if you feel like you cannot refrain from influencing users. Take a look at the facts and be willing to let them speak for themselves. Make the analysis of the results a group project, involving your entire team in order to have a diverse perspective on things.



Hopefully having knowledge of these top 8 user testing mistakes and their solutions will help you improve your user testing approach. Make sure to keep these in mind whenever planning your usability tests.


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