UX Research & User Testing

Testing Conclusion

Paul Boag

Paul Boag

UX Research & User Testing

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The "Testing Conclusion" Lesson is part of the full, UX Research & User Testing course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul discusses the importance of testing early in the design process and emphasizes the need for real content rather than placeholder text like lorem ipsum. He explains how to create draft content by extracting questions and bullet points from the information architecture and using tools like ChatGPT and Hemingway to generate website content. He also shares his approach to presenting design progress to clients, focusing on a continuous feedback loop rather than a traditional sign-off process.


Transcript from the "Testing Conclusion" Lesson

>> So essentially, what I'm encouraging you to do is to test early, even with a single mockup if that's all you've got, it has considerable benefits from doing so. And focus your testing primarily on aesthetics at this stage, but if you want you might as well do a bit of usability while you're at it, cuz you can send it all out in one go.

And if possible do some comprehension and usability testing as well. I cannot recommend doing this enough. Out of everything that I've covered today, for most people, this is the one area of usability testing they're not doing and that is easy to do and will make your life the easiest, right?

Other areas people are more familiar with doing usability testing in, but this is the one which I think makes the biggest difference. So before we move on to testing your prototype, any questions around any of that, or thoughts or opinions? Yeah, go for it.
>> I think I understand a break, but lorem ipsum

>> Yes, yes.
>> Did you use that make up for fake content?
>> Yes. No, I mean, I don't do that. I think I described lorem ipsum as the devil spawn or something, I think it was something like that. For me usability is so intrinsically tied to content that you cannot, if you're just testing aesthetics fair enough, knock yourself out use lorem ipsum.

But the minute you want to pay any kind of attention to usability, do people understand it? Do they comprehend it? Can they interact with it? You're gonna need real text in there. It doesn't need to be perfect real text, it can be draft. Now, the big problem always comes to that is extracting that from clients because clients are terrible at delivering content.

I've given up, right? I've learned that actually clients are terrible at delivering, in fact, people, right? We're all like, I don't know why I'm singling out clients like there are some freakish subspecies. As human beings, we are no good at creating something from scratch. We are very good at taking something that already exists and improving it, right?

So let's take the burden off of our clients from creating something from scratch and we can do it ourselves. Now that sounds everybody is now go, whoa, especially this audience, developers. I mean, unless it's written in binary or JSON, then they're not interested. But honestly, this doesn't need to be complicated.

All I do, in most cases, if we have done that information architecture work, we already have a list of all the questions and all the tasks that people wanna complete, right? So it's really simple from there. We know on any given page what question that page has to answer, maybe multiple questions.

So all I do is I write the questions out, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang as a list. If I have got a rough idea of the answers to those questions, I bullet them out, right? Just literally bullet points. If I don't, I ask the client, give us a couple of bullet points for each of these.

That's all and normally that's not too bad. Or even ask them over the phone and just fill it in, right? And then I take all of that. Yes, what I do with it, I dump it into ChatGPT and I provide it with a load of, I've got a whole different workshop on content creation and content management, but essentially I drop it into ChatGPTand I say, draft me some website content that answers these questions.

And will fit in these kind of word length. And if I used bullets and headings and stuff like that, and it churns stuff out, is that any good. Probably not, I don't really care. It's better than lorem ipsum and it'll get the client to respond to it. So that tends to be how I do it these days.

It takes me a quarter an hour extra, but for the sake of it, it's probably worth it most times. It just makes it really hard to do any kind of testing around usability. But soon as you get something, because the devils in the detail in it because you could say for example, if you're testing a prototype.

And you're saying to somebody, find out whether you're you've got dental coverage for example, going back to what we were talking about earlier. It's like unless you've got content that answers that question on the page, how are they gonna know whether they're on the right page or not.

So it's so limiting in the amount of usability testing you can do without content in there, that it's impossible. Sometimes they lift content from the existing site, but oftentimes it's so bad that I don't want to do that. And that actually even taking that and running it through ChatGPT helps.

I'll tell you another really good app these days for that actually, if you've got existing content, if the client has given you content that's terrible or an existing website content, there's an app called Hemingway. And you can copy and paste the content into Hemingway and for a start it'll tell you how terrible it is by telling you that it's got really high reading level and all the sentences are too long and all the things that are wrong with it.

But then it's got a magic AI button that you can click. I think you have to pay for the AI, but it's not a lot. It'll even go through and add sections and put bullets in and bold bits and it really does clean it very nice and it's a lot better than things like Grammarly because it is created specifically for good web copy.

It doesn't say that but the way that it works is very web friendly, short sentences, not too many conjunctions, all of that kind of stuff, but that's a whole other workshop. Yeah, go for it.
>> So, now you've got the information architecture.
>> Yes.
>> You're ready to present to the client.

>> Yes.
>> How do you present that? How would you go through your presentation about after I've done all this research, all this information and everything that I've done?
>> Yeah.
>> That are, here those.
>> Right, two things. One is I never sign off, which is very controversial.

And the second thing is I kind of present but not in a big, not in the old fashioned tada way, right? So this whole thing about signing off a design, doing a big pitch and presentation, comes directly out of kind of Mad Men era, right? And it's fundamentally flawed for a number of reasons.

One is that it's based on this lone genius having an incredible creative concept and then pitching it and wowing everybody. And I don't work like that at all. I have a process of testing and data gathering that delivers a result, right? So I am basically drip feeding the customer, the stakeholder along the journey, right?

So as soon as I've done the information architecture, I'll drop them in email and say these are the results of the information architecture. This was the findings on the basis, this is what I'm proposing. Unless I hear back from you, I will just carry on. Then when I do the aesthetic, here are the mood boards.

These are what the tests that I ran, these are the results that I found. If you've got anything else that you would require me to test that you don't feel I missed, just let me know, or I'll carry on. This is the mockup that I've done and I've done a five second test and these were the things that I've done on it.

If there's anything that you would like me to clarify or to do additional testing on, let me know it. And I just keep going like that, step by step. And so as a result of that, there's never a moment where we have this big ta-da moment. I'm taking them on the journey.

Sometimes I'll send them a video, I'm making it sound like it's all email. Sometimes I'll drop them a video, sometimes we'll jump on Zoom. But it's that process of just going through thing by thing and just moving forward continually and not asking them to assign it off. Because the minute you say sign off the design, it becomes this big moment in time where they've got to get it right and they pick and pick and pick at it and you get caught in this iteration hell, right?

And it just doesn't work. And the truth is, the idea of signing off made a lot of sense in the print era, right? Because once you ran it to print, that's it, you're done. But if there's typos, if they decide they want a slightly different color green, if they decide that they want a different font.

All of that can be changed quite easily in the build stage. But in most cases, by that stage, they've lost interest. When they first see the design, because there's this initial shock, whenever you see anything design, there's this moment of shock of going, that isn't what I had in my head, right?

So then they'll start saying, can we go with a Serif font or a Sans Serif font or whatever, whatever their thing is, right? If you say, well, look, live with it for a bit, we can always in the build. If you still feel like it will change it, you'll never hear from them again and you'll never have to do anything.

But if you say you've got sign off this design, when all that's fresh in their heads and get into a battle this is another workshop that I also run on dealing and working with clients. Yeah so it's a different way of working but it really does work at least for me.

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