User testing is critical in an industry dedicated to providing a pleasant journey for consumers who use services, products, and apps. The primary purpose of usability test is to educate the development process from the end users’ perspective.

Over the decades, UX researchers have created a variety of approaches for testing and confirming product hypotheses and specific design decisions. Techniques range from the established lab-based usability tests to others that have been created more recently. In this post, we’ll look at some distinct user testing methodologies, as well as when and why you should utilize them.

Guerrilla testing

Guerrilla testing is the most basic type of user testing. Guerrilla testing entails stepping into a public venue, such as a coffee house, and asking people about your concept. Participants in the test are picked at random. They are often invited to conduct a fast usability test in return for a little gift (such as a free coffee). It is low-cost and easy testing that allows for real-time user response.

Guerrilla testing is most effective in the initial stages of product design. When you have a concrete design (wireframes or low-fidelity prototypes) and want to know if you’re on the correct track.

It is always crucial to remember that test participants in Guerrilla testing may not be representative of your product’s target demographic. As a result, guerrilla testing may not be appropriate for testing niche products that necessitate specialized knowledge (i.e., software for finance brokers).

 

usability testing

Image Source: Unsplash

 

User testing in the lab

As the name implies, lab usability testing is conducted in controlled surroundings (laboratories) under the supervision of a moderator. A moderator is a specialist who seeks comments from live people. During a controlled test, moderators guide test takers through tasks, respond to questions, and respond to comments in real time.

When you require detailed information on how actual users engage with your application and what problems they encounter, lab user testing is the best option. It will aid you in your investigation of the logic behind user behaviour.

Contextual investigation

This is more of an observation/interview method that assists a product team in gathering knowledge about the customer experience from real users rather than a user testing method. Test subjects (actual users) are initially asked a series of questions regarding their product experience before being observed and interviewed while working in their own locations.

This method is effective for gathering detailed information on users, such as their workplace, individual interests, and routines. Having all of this info at the start of the designing collaboration process will assist the product team in creating a well-tailored offering.

Sorting cards

Card sorting is a great way to prioritize material and functionality in a user interface. The method is straightforward: simply place ideas (features, content) on flashcards and enable test subjects to arrange the cards into categories and groups. A supervisor should ask test subjects to describe their rationale as soon as they finish sorting the cards (to understand the reasoning).

Card sorting is useful for optimizing your product’s info architecture before creating a low-fidelity design with a wire frame tool. You would be able to make better data-informed decisions if you receive feedback on your navigational structure.