What are some of the most common user testing methods used in Design Thinking? So what methods can you use to test your prototypes? Here are five of the most popular user testing techniques used by UX designers and design thinkers!
1. Concept testing
In the very early stages of the design process, you’ll want to test out your initial concepts before actually designing them. Low-fidelity prototypes—a simple sketch, or even static images—can be used to communicate your idea to your target users. You’ll then interview your users to gauge how they feel about the concept. Is it a product or feature they’d be interested in using? Does it have the potential to solve the user’s problem?
2. A/B testing
A/B testing is used to compare two different versions of a design. This method can be used at any stage of the design process, whether you have paper prototypes or fully clickable digital ones. In A/B testing, you’ll create two different prototypes and test each version on a different set of users. You might test two different layouts, for example, or different copy for a certain CTA button on a certain screen. It’s important to only A/B test one variable at a time so as not to skew the results.
3. Usability testing
A crucial user testing method that should be used repeatedly throughout the design process, usability testing shows you how easy your design is to use. Usability testing is usually an observational exercise: you’ll ask your users to complete certain tasks, and observe them as they do so. Throughout the test, you’ll see which aspects of the design caused problems for the user, as well as which aspects appear to be user-friendly. In doing so, you’ll identify usability issues which you’ll seek to fix in the next iteration of your prototype.
4. First-click testing
When designing an app or a website, you want to make sure that the user takes the intended action whenever they land on a certain page or screen. First-click testing shows you what your users first steps are when they encounter an interface; in other words, where do they click first? This helps you to determine which visual elements and content should take priority, where buttons, icons, and menu items should be located, as well as the kind of language you should use for buttons and labels. First-click testing can be conducted using both low and high-fidelity prototypes.
5. Tree testing
Once you’ve come up with the information architecture of your digital product, you can use tree testing to see how user-friendly it really is. You’ll present the user with a “tree” of information—representative of how your site menus would be laid out—and ask them to find specific items. If users struggle to locate certain information, you’ll need to rethink your information architecture. Tree testing is often conducted as a remote, unmoderated study, but it can also be done in person using paper prototypes.