UX Research & User Testing

Testing Fast & Eliminating Excuses

Paul Boag

Paul Boag

UX Research & User Testing

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The "Testing Fast & Eliminating Excuses" 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 emphasizes the importance of finding opportunities to conduct usability testing and user research throughout a project, rather than saving it all for later. He discusses various quick and cost-effective testing methods, such as first click tests, five-second tests, and eye tracking simulations. He also shares strategies for fitting testing into natural breaks in projects and manufacturing excuses to incorporate user research. He stresses the importance of hiding the cost of testing and emphasize that doing something is better than doing nothing.


Transcript from the "Testing Fast & Eliminating Excuses" Lesson

>> Find opportunities, right? There are loads of opportunities available to you to do testing and research that could just pass you by and you could easily miss if you're not paying attention. Use every tiny moment in a project to cram in some usability testing or user research, cuz you really can get a lot in there, right?

So I do a lot of tests, a lot of people write when they think of usability testing, they kinda save up their testing, right? Yeah, we need to test that, when we're a bit further on in the bill, we need to test that, we need to test that.

And they end up with a whole load of things that they wanna test, which obviously is gonna take a lot of time, right? What I do is lots and little bits of testing that I kinda sneak in, right? Somebody asks a question, let's do a test for that.

So most of the tests I do take less than an hour, right? Most of them take less than 30 minutes to set up, get results back in another half an hour, I carry on with my work. That is literally what I do, most of the time I do things like first-click test, 5- second test, eye-tracking simulation, which doesn't take any time at all that one.

And there's so many other opportunities just to do quick lightning testing in a situation. And focus on fast results, right? There are a lot of services out there that will get you results back in a couple of hours, literally, right? For example, Pollfish, I use Pollfish for surveying all the time.

And basically, I can write a survey and I can pay a very small amount of money. I think it's about $1 per person that would complete the survey, presuming it's not a really long survey. And I will get results back in under an hour, okay? And to be quite frank, some of the time I pay that out of my own pocket.

Because, and paying a tenner to get ten users opinions, rather than sitting in a meeting for an hour and a half arguing about it, is worth that tenner to me, I mean, so fast results. And then I also use those natural breaks in projects, they're always brakes in project.

Someone hasn't delivered the content on time, someone hasn't done whatever they're supposed to have done. There are always opportunities to sneak in a little bit of testing, right? And also you can manufacture excuses, I do this all the time as well, right? So let's say, you've been asked to prepare a presentation.

Well, wouldn't this presentation be a lot better with a little bit of user research in it? So I've been given permission to do the presentation. So I could do the presentation, okay, well, let's do a bit user research to shove in my presentation, I've manufactured an excuse. Also people are always asking questions, right?

So somebody will ask you a question, you go, yeah, I don't know the answer to that. Give me an hour, and I'll go away and find out. And I'm not gonna do bit user research, user testing in an hour and I can come back to them. And then options as well, so sit in a meeting and the minute two stakeholders disagree which is inevitable normally happens within five minutes of being in most meetings in my experience.

So they disagree with so and say, let's not get bogged down in that right now. Give me a give me a few hours I'll go away and testing come back to you, go, and everybody loves it, right? Because when two stakeholders start arguing in the meeting, everybody goes, right?

That's gonna make the meeting longer. If you cut in with a, say, I can resolve this offline, let's move on to the next agenda point, everybody jumps on it, right? So it's a great opportunity to getting a bit of testing. At this point, I wanna give you a little bit of a warning, and I've kind of touched on it already, but I wanna emphasize it again, which is, this can't cost anything, right?

This can't cost any money that people are aware of. So if there is a cost involved, hide it, right? Hide it in any way you can. If you're, say, somebody, an external person working with clients, just quote another hour or two hours on a project to give yourself a bit of space for this kinda thing.

Don't put it in as a line item on your proposal, the minute you put it in a line item in your proposal, people will take it out, right? It's like project management, nobody ever wants to pay for project management. So just hide the cost away, if, for example, you work in house, maybe you could put that on the company credit card cuz it's only a tenner, right?

Rather than going through procurement to get a big platform approved, can you imagine, right? So there are lots of ways of kinda hiding the cost. So there you go, that's a bit of introduction, but I'm gonna come back to this sentence one more time cuz it is so important.

Doing something is better than doing nothing. So if you can't do all of this stuff, don't worry, it's okay.

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