UX – An Introduction to User Testing

The user experience is basically how a human user experiences and interacts with a system, application, or service. It consists of a person’s impressions of ease of use, utility, and productivity.

Usability testing refers to the evaluation of how users interact with and enjoy using a specific system, application or service. It is a combination of traditional usability testing along with a little bit of information architecture. In addition, testing can also include application testing, which is focused on the interaction design of the application or service. Information architecture, on the other hand, involves the study of the user interface from a logical perspective. Both these approaches provide valuable information for the design, development, and testing teams.

A lot of organizations today rely on user testing to determine whether their  solutions provide a satisfying experience to the user. A lot of businesses go through pains to conduct user testing and conduct a thorough analysis of the existing web pages and navigation in order to determine the user experience that they are offering to their customers. This analysis gives an idea on the areas that need improvement and in areas where they can easily make changes to maximize the user output and customer experience.

As part of the user experience definition, a good UX research methodology should contain several aspects. One of the most important components of a good UX research methodology is the exploratory study design. In this phase, the researcher will perform a series of interviews or discussions with people who use your system and these surveys rely on a thorough understanding of the organization’s desired outcomes and goals to be most effective. They will ask them questions that will specifically focus on the needs of your customers, the current state of your website, the possible improvements that you can make to your website or product, as well as the concerns, frustrations and achievements of previous customers. Through this exploratory phase, a thorough understanding of the customer’s thoughts and feelings about your website will be generated and this information can be utilized for the optimization reporting.

Another important component of a good research method is the identification and extraction of appropriate data from the user experience. In most cases, users do not provide very descriptive answers when they are interviewed. However, using a technology called Mechanical Recoding, a researcher can construct a questionnaire that is specifically constructed to capture the user-based experience. This means that the answers provided by the users can be mapped and analyzed using the appropriate machine language so that all the necessary data can be extracted easily.

Finally, the last stage of a quality user testing and research methodologies is the documentation of the user findings. The documentation should also include contingency plans for the future steps and improvements that will be made to the website, product or application. The documentation should also indicate what sort of feedback the team would be able to get from the users regarding the improvements. All these aspects will help to ensure that the usability of the website becomes better every single time it is used.

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