There are various methods available when it comes to user testing. This article mentions the top 6 user testing methods preferred by UX researchers. We will also mention the right conditions for each method. Moreover, you will also learn some most important considerations for implementing each method.
Top 6 user testing methods
Guerrilla testing is a very basic kind of usability testing where you ask people about your prototype in a public place, like at a coffee shop. You choose individuals for testing at random. Most of the time, they are asked to complete a quick usability test in exchange for a small reward. It is possible to get real user feedback through low-cost and simple testing.
This type of user testing is most effective in the early stages of product development, when you have a measurable design and want to know if you’re on the correct track. It can also be used to get personal opinions and emotional reactions to ideas and concepts.
It’s crucial to remember that guerrilla testing participants may not be representative of your product’s target market. As a result, guerrilla testing may not be appropriate for testing niche products that necessitate specialized knowledge.
The tasks you choose for your testing session are essential in determining whether or not your findings are valuable. Because it’s hard to test everything at once, you’ll have to rank all possible interaction scenarios and choose the most likely one. It’s also vital to keep in mind that each exam session will have a time limit. People who take part in guerrilla testing usually give you little more than 5-10 minutes of their time.
Laboratory user testing
Laboratory usability testing takes place in a protected setting under moderator observation. Throughout a moderated exam, moderators lead participants through exercises, answer their questions, and reply to their feedback in real-time.
Lab usability testing is the greatest choice for learning how actual people interact with your product and what issues they face. It helps you understand and observe user behavior in a controlled environment. Because this test is controlled, you may collect more qualitative data. It’s important to remember that a lab test requires a moderator, test set, and test participants. In a controlled atmosphere, each research round has 5-10 volunteers. As a result, all test subjects must be reflective of your actual client base. This way you don’t waste time and money gathering data from people who are not the target.
Lab usability testing requires a competent moderator at the helm, guiding participants through the process. When selecting a moderator, keep the following in mind:
A moderator must be available to help test participants understand the exam’s purpose and reorient them if they get lost. It does not, however, imply that a moderator should direct test-takers on what to do.
The moderator should read body language. Remember that what people say isn’t necessarily what they think. So a moderator must be adept at reading body language and facial expressions.
This type of testing usually involves a post-test interview. Moderators should contact test participants after the session to ask critical questions.
In lab testing, the controlled setting may differ from the user’s actual scenario. Placing the user in a controlled setting might lead to unrealistic user behavior. Moderators must be able to account for this in the reporting process.
Unmoderated remote user testing
Unmoderated remote usability testing is a convenient method of user testing that gives quick, reliable, and cheap results. These results can be utilized for more UX research and actionable changes to your design.
Participants complete activities in their own surroundings, using their own devices, and without the presence of a moderator, resulting in a more natural use of the product.
When you need a lot of people to back up important findings or hypotheses, unmoderated remote usability testing is the best choice. Unmoderated remote usability testing lets you test a specific question or observe user behavior patterns without being tied to a specific time or place.
When assisting a product team in gathering knowledge about user experience, contextual inquiry sounds more like an interviewing/observing approach. Participants in the tests are asked a series of questions regarding their experience with a product before being observed and questioned while working in their own locations.
This method is effective for obtaining detailed information on users, such as their working environment, personal preferences, and routines. The product team can create a well-tailored experience if they have all of this information upfront.
During test sessions, researchers should never express their opinions. The idea is to observe rather than participate in how test users interact with a product.
It’s crucial to take notes during the observation process. This way, it will be easier to create a complete test report afterwards.
During a phone interview, individuals talk with researchers on the phone while completing set tasks on their mobile devices. The researchers they are speaking with gather the results of their responses as they go.
Phone interviews are a wonderful way to gather feedback from test participants who are located all over the world.
You should have a skilled moderator facilitate this type of assessment. A test moderator must have good interaction skills when talking to people who are taking the test.
In a user interface, card sorting is a great way to prioritize material and functions. The method is straightforward: simply write down concepts on cards and allow test participants to sort them into groups and categories. A moderator should ask test participants to explain their reasoning as soon as they finish sorting the cards.
You can use card sorting to optimize your product’s information architecture before creating a low-fidelity design with a wireframe tool. You’ll be able to make better data-driven decisions if you get feedback on your navigation arrangement.
Card sorting can assist you in developing a hypothesis on how to order your content/features. However, it’s critical to test this theory with real consumers. Once you make appropriate changes to improve the navigation experience, you will have utterly unexpected results.
This was all about the top 6 user testing methods most preferred by UX researchers. Go through the details of each method along with its implementation situations to figure out the best user testing method for your needs. Then make sure to keep its considerations in mind when using it.