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User test: what is it, types and how to implement them effectively

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User test: what is it, types and how to implement them effectively

If you are one of those who believes that the best way to improve a product or an interface is by dealing with users, this article is for you. In it I will explain what user tests are, what types exist (we will deal with some of the main ones) and what we must take into account when preparing, launching and analyzing the test results.

Will you accompany me?

list_altIndex of contents
1. What are user tests?
2. Types and examples of user tests
3. Considerations when testing
Final evaluations on user tests
1. What are user tests?
User tests are the process by which you seek to discover, validate or refute certain information about a product or an Audit Directors Auditors Email Lists (web / app) through interaction with the user.

The way in which we interact to learn depends a lot on the type of tests, which can be differentiated, depending on the research method, between:

Behavior : this differentiation is based on the way in which we measure the behavior of a user. At one extreme we have the behavioral tests (in which we could find an A / B or navigation flow test) and, at the opposite, the aptitude tests (interception survey or focus group, etc.).

Audit Directors Email Lists
Typology : in this differentiation we find the tests with the contribution of qualitative information (for example, an interview with open questions) and, at the opposite extreme, a test with the contribution of quantitative information (here we could once again have the A / B test or questionnaires with closed questions).
user test

Each test must be used according to the objective we pursue. If, for example, we are looking to discover what our users think about certain functionality, we are interested in promoting tests with qualitative results.

In the same way, if I am redesigning a product page of an ecommerce, I may have a certain idea of ​​what elements to include and how to display it, but I can doubt whether to add a certain piece of information or not (for example, toggle on policies conditions with which this product was manufactured) In that case, when conducting tests with users, I can see how many people use that element, how many people finally “Add to the cart” the product with and without interaction of that element:


Example of added toggle: “Environmental commitment”

We must understand that there is no one-size-fits-all user test, as it always depends on the objectives pursued, which implies that the derived value resides in our ability to use it correctly. In addition, knowing the different types of conversion biases helps to better channel and prioritize these tests as explained here .

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2. Types and examples of user tests
The existing types of user tests are extensive and varied, and some must meet certain criteria to be used.

In the case of A / B tests , a “high” sample is usually required to achieve statistical significance. For example, for a test whose reference conversion rate is 2%, the minimum effect of interest is 10%, the confidence threshold is 95%, there is 1 variant and the statistical power is 80%, you would need 128,652 users in order to get a conclusive result.

As we can see, if our site has very little traffic, it will take us many weeks to reach those values ​​for that specific test. Hence, we must carefully calibrate which test suits our needs and context.

Next we are going to discuss some of the most used and common: A / B test, usability test and questionnaires.

A / B test
The objective of this test is purely quantitative and behavioral , since what is done is to confront the current proposal (A) against the new one (B).

Having defined which objectives are to be measured and modeled the test according to the statistical parameters, you seek to know if the difference between them allows you to say that this difference does exist statistically and, therefore, you can use (B) as alternative; otherwise, there is no justification for the substitution:

user test ab test

Example of A / B test broken down by weekly results

A / B tests are usually very focused on improving conversion, but said conversion does not always have to directly impact sales, since we may want to optimize the navigability of a certain page, etc.

If you are interested in all this testing methodology, I recommend you also read about agile testing in this article .

Usability test
The objective of these tests is for a user to perform certain tasks that we want to analyze, for example: “You are a 30-year-old user from Valencia looking to improve your motorcycle, could you look for the Yamaha JOG 50 RR tube that fits perfectly on your motorcycle current?”.

As you may have seen, it is important to always give the user a role and context, because it is not the same to choose a motorcycle because you want to give a gift than to look for parts because you are a professional and you need them for your workshop.

This type of test is much more qualitative , as it seeks for the user to express what they think, what they want to do, where their frustrations, doubts and uncertainties are born (also known as FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubts). It is precisely at this point where we must act.

A good example of what we are talking about happened to us doing a usability test for a project in which we asked him to “look for a job in Majadahonda that would pay € 1200 a month”. The interesting thing about this case is to see how doubts began to arrive about “gross is what I receive or is it net?”, And so on. It is precisely at this point where we have to check if the “copies” are correct or should be improved:

This type of test can be carried out throughout the design and manufacturing process of a product with an interface, from testing mockups to complete functional tests:

Prototype example and design example

Personally, it helps me that the people I test do both for the project I am analyzing and for the competitors, that way I can discover hidden value in the others (at zero cost).

[Free guide] Keys and tools for the digital transformation of your Forex Email List   department Questionnaires The questionnaires can be made with open questions (for example: “What would you like to find on this page?”) Or closed questions such as the popular Net Promoter Score (for example: “Rate from 0 to 10 satisfaction in the purchase”).

The NPS or Net Promoter Score became fashionable in Silicon Valley as a KPI to measure how attractive your project was, considering that a rating from 0 to 6 implied that users were detractors of your project, 7-8 were neutral and 9 -10 were promoters:

Source: overlap.com

When launching a questionnaire must understand that we are “cutting” cognitive navigation flow, so it is vital to throw at the right time:
what sense is throwing a fair question when they will end up buying ?,
what sense have you throw a question just when you just accessed the web?

Below you will find a case in which I was asked to fill out a questionnaire just when accessing the web for the first time, which I obviously did not answer:

Sample intercept questionnaire

3. Considerations when testing
The quality of a test is not only found in the rigor we apply to it, but also in the preparation, execution and analysis of the results that we obtain when it is finished. Some of the recommendations that you should keep in mind are:

Search, but be open to discover
When testing we must go without any prejudice or preconceived idea of ​​the result. We can have an initial idea, but in the end it is not only about corroborating our idea, but about being able to promote the discovery of improvements or inefficiencies in the project.

Avoid skewing the results
If we ask, we must try that the questions are not only impartial but that they do not bias the answer.

If, for example, I ask a user: “Are you also like 95% of the people who have chosen the color red?” it is quite likely that “red” answers, since I am adding all the social pressure derived from “being different”.

Know the objectives and parameters of the tests and keep them
If you carry out quantitative tests, it is essential to be clear before starting a test which are the KPIs that invalidate it and the statistical parameters that govern it.

It is common to find testers who had scheduled a test for a duration of 15 weeks, but who, upon reaching certain results, choose to stop the test instead of allowing it to happen during the entire period marked by your analysis.

Many tests are usually always at the cost of hindering the user
As much as we like to test and learn from our users, the more or less invasive way in which we intercept, ask or ask them to help us hinders their navigation, so we must take care and moderate the way in which we impact on them. .

Final evaluations on user tests
Finally, I would like to emphasize that testing and learning from our users and clients should be a fundamental part of any digital project. We cannot hide behind analytics because many times the value lies in what they say and tell, and where they get frustrated.

Our goal is to design an agile process with them that adapts to their needs and solves their problems. In conclusion, align your goals with ours (in that order).

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