The benefits of user testing with your target audience
Usability testing measures behavior, not preference.
Usability testing offers a more accurate view of the user experience with your digital assets than other forms of research. For example, focus groups allow users to state their preferences and enable researchers to draw conclusions about how users react to an experience. However, focus groups can be influenced by one or two dominant people in the session, which can make the output very biased. On the other hand, usability testing examines each user’s individual behavior and allows them to perform tasks in their own “natural environment.” These testing conditions offer further insight into users’ goals, motivations, and frustrations. By examining the insights gained from usability testing, we can better determine the functionality of the product or service — and how to improve it.
Understanding your target audience delivers conversions and value.
We all intend to keep our customers in mind when we design a website or app. But how certain are you that you really understand your users? Can you honestly say that you know exactly how your different audiences make their purchase decisions? Do your digital experiences let your audiences find and do everything they want to at each stage of their customer journey? The time you invest to better understand your target users’ behaviors ensures that your end product will be relevant and engaging.
User feedback at an early stage improves product performance.
Early-stage feedback can tell you what your customer thinks about your digital experience and how it stacks up against your competition. Knowing about the potential threats from the competition will give you an advantage to act on and improve your product's weaknesses. According to Roger Pressman, author of Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach, “For every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development, and multiply to $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release.” Moreover, early testing helps the team focus on user priorities and needs, while balancing them with the business goals.
Greater user satisfaction builds customer loyalty.
Once you improve your digital tools based on testing results, their usability is enhanced, which leads to greater user adoption, more leads, and increased brand loyalty. You can measure how these factors improve over time by using tools such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), System Usability Scale (SUS), task success rates, and other quantifiable metrics.
See how user behavior changes on different devices.
The functionality that your target users may want on a desktop or laptop may be different than what they need on their phone or even on a smart device. CX teams can test multiple devices to see how the user’s behavior changes between channels. In doing so, the team arrives with valuable insights into the customer journey.
Debunk the myth that “We don’t need to test our design — we’re the experts.”
Even if you are an experienced stakeholder, designer, or developer, it is impossible for you to know everything about your users and their needs. Chances are that we still have our own experiences and knowledge influencing our ideas, which is why it is so important to empathize with users and understand why they view things differently.