Usability & User Testing Services

There's immense value in observing people using your website/app for the first time.

You can design and build sites and services with all the good will and experience in the world, and it can still totally go over the head of a user.

User Experience design is all about creating usable and understandable experiences, but it’s mostly built upon knowledge and best practice. It’s very possible to be too close to something and not realise how others may interpret it differently, or overlook a detail that affects the UX in way you could not anticipate.

How it feels to watch a user test your product for the first time

~ Source: The Hipper Element

Usability and user testing diagram 1

Usability and user testing allows you to test drive your service/app/website before release, to ensure any conversion critical interactions are understood and completed without impediments.

There are many methods and scales of usability and user testing that can be employed. There’s no right answer for any given project – it’s often a case of what portion of the budget can realistically be assigned, but it’s always worth doing testing if only on a small scale in our opinion.

It’s not all about observation, it’s just as important to know what a user did and why they did it, often users don’t know themselves. That’s where detailed analysis of the results help us better understand what we need to adjust in order to reduce the friction encountered and create a better experience.

There’s also conversion optimisation whereby we can analyse the existing traffic flows and make some informed decisions based on paths and actions through a site or service. The results either allow more informed decisions to be made about design or development adaptations or may warrant running split tests thereafter to test several hypotheses and choose the one that performs the best.

 

 

Usability & user testing in London diagram 2

How We Work

Many clients simply wish to optimise existing products, services or websites; making small adjustments to user experience features. Some may want to improve statistics, such as bounce rates, conversion or dwell time. Others have new products that bring something new to the market and need to test assumptions about the concept or details of the solution we help design. We understand that not every client or project is the same, which is why we offer a range of usability testing services. We don’t offer user testing in isolation, we only carry it out as part of a broader UX design project.  

 

Usability & user testing in London diagram 3

Our USPs & Key Benefits

It’s always a good idea to have a fresh set of eyes look over any work. Clients come to us for user testing services because we have an in-depth knowledge of user experience. Our testing team is skilled in knowing where to look for problems. As this is what we do on a daily basis, we know where the pitfalls of UX lie. That gives us a clear insight and advantage when testing the work and designs of outside parties

 

 

Usability & user testing in London diagram 4

Our Process

Testing is something we’re very passionate about, and it comes across in our work. The success or failure of a user experience is in the details of every interaction. That’s exactly the level of detail we bring to our usability testing. Whether we’re just testing informally internally, doing genuine user-testing, or performing conversion optimisation testing – we make sure the product we deliver has the best chances of succeeding in it’s market.

 

Example projects

We do some degree of testing on all work we do, even if it’s just internal testing with clickable prototypes – it all counts and contributes to the final product. The following projects are recent examples of work where usability or user testing played a significant role.

Other services you may be interested in

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User testing

User testing refers to a technique used in the design process to evaluate a product, feature or prototype with real users. There are several reasons why you might want to undergo usability testing, the most common is that it allows the design team to identify friction in a user experience they are designing, so that it can be addressed before being built or deployed.

WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG (pronounced WIZ-ee-wig) is an acronym for "What You See Is What You Get". It helps identify an an interface that allows user input resulting in an output that is rendered in a similar way. For example; a word processor application interface might resemble a piece of paper,so when printed the user can see how the output will appear.

Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) is an tool that allows a website editor/administrator to manage the content that is displayed. Websites are made of HTML and CSS to create pages. Pages can be hard-coded but would require technical development skills to make changes. A CMS usually allows a person without coding knowledge to amend existing and add new content to a website using a WYSIWYG interface.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design refers to a web page that dynamically adapts its layout to fit the size and orientation of the device on which it is viewed. A responsive design allows for a more optimised user experience across desktop and laptop computers as well as smartphones and tablets of varying sizes.

User Stories

User stories allow the functionality of a product or service to be expressed as written descriptions of an experience as seen from the users perspective. The writing of user stories creates a list of design and development tasks to complete in order to create any required functionality.

User Interface

A user interface (UI) is a conduit between human and computer interaction - the space where a user will interact with a computer or machine to complete tasks. The purpose of a UI is to enable a user to effectively control a computer or machine they are interacting with, and for feedback to be received in order to communicate effective completion of tasks.

Personas

A persona in UX Design is the characterisation of a user who represents a segment of your target audience. On a project you might create any number of personas to be representative of a range of user needs and desires. The solutions you design must answer these needs in order to deliver value to your target audience.

Card sorting

A great, reliable, inexpensive method for discovering patterns in how users would expect to find content or functionality. Card sorting is used to test the taxonomy of data with a group of subjects, usually to help inform the creation of the information architecture, user flow, or menu structure on a project.

Brainstorming

A technique used to generate ideas around a specific topic. Often done in groups, but can be done individuals. The process usually involves writing down all ideas around a topic onto paper, a whiteboard or stickies often implying some kind of association.

Minimum Viable Product

An MVP is a product that has the minimum set of features to prove the most essential hypothesis for a product. Businesses building a new product can create a Minimum Viable Product to prove that an idea is viable and warrants further investment. A further benefit being that the next stage of development can be informed by feedback obtained from testing that MVP.

Sitemap

A sitemap is a diagrammatic representation of a hierarchical system. It usually depicts the parent-sibling relationship between pages in a website, showing how sub pages might be arranged underneath their parent groupings. This arrangement forms a map of the site.

User journey

A user journey represents a sequence of events or experiences a user might encounter while using a product or service. A user journey can be mapped or designed to show the steps and choices presented as interactions, and the resulting actions.

Prototype

A prototype is draft representation built to test ideas for layout, behaviour and flow in a system. Prototypes are an indispensable tool for resolving a large number of potential issues in a concept or business before too many resources are deployed to put a design into production.

Wireframes

A Wireframe is a visual schematic that conveys a basic level of communication, structure and behaviour during the design of a system. Wireframes are low-fidelity designs that bypass including a detailed user interface or visual design, conveying just enough to get across the core idea.

Usability

To say something is usable is a qualitative statement about how easy that thing is to use. Usability is an assessment of how learnable a system is and how easy a user finds it to use. The usability of a system or product is a key factor in determining whether the user experience is a good one.

Information Architecture

Information architecture is the design and organisation of content, pages and data into a structure that aids users understanding of a system. A more organised system enables users to more easily find the information they require and complete the intended tasks.

UI Design

User Interface Design is the discipline of designing software interfaces for devices, ideally with a focus on maximising efficiency, responsiveness and aesthetics to foster a good user experience.

UX Design

The practice of User Experience (UX) Design is the coming together of many specific design related disciplines to improve the usability, responsiveness, uptake and aesthetics of a product or service.

User Experience

A general term that covers all aspects of a user's participation while engaging with something that has been designed. Usually when talking about User Experience in the digital design field it refers to the interactions, reactions, emotions and perceptions while using an app, service, website or product.

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