Paul Rouke
Founder & Director of Optimisation
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  • User Research

11th Feb 2010

3 min

User Testing

An integral part of gaining end user insights into how well (or poorly) a website, intranet or application has been designed, user testing can be carried out in 3 main ways.

  • Laboratory User Testing – this is the traditional approach which involves using a testing ‘lab’ which has a one-sided mirror, video recording facilities, a viewing area and other more advanced features
  • Guerilla User Testing – this is simpler type of testing which doesn’t involve special labs, equipment and facilities, and is suitable for when there is very limited budget and you want to gain first hand insights from people using your website/application to carry out certain key tasks and and objectives
  • Real Time User Testing (during one-to-one interviews) – this is typically carried out as part of meeting staff within an organisation when you are reviewing a company intranet

We have spoke about guerilla user testing at the How Do event last year, on 3 key ways in which you can improve online performance.

For more information on real time user testing, read on…

User Research and One-to-one Interviews

There are many reasons that you would want to speak to either customers, website visitors or employees in a one-to-one style interview, and all of them revolve around attempting to understand the opinions and recommendations from the people that matter most.

Gaining the most valuable and meaningful insights isn’t always straightforward, particularly when the person you are speaking to has never previously been asked for their opinions and ideas. This is especially true when speaking to staff within an organisation, whether you are looking to improve production processes, improve efficiency on the shop floor, or as is often the case with ourselves, reviewing a company intranet.

If you find yourself carrying out one-to-one interviews for whatever reason, you might like to take a look at a recent blog post of 5 tips when conducting user research.

To save you a click the 5 tips are:

  1. Give the person you are speaking to the confidence that their input is truly valued
  2. Give the person your full attention – keep your head up!
  3. Ask open, probing questions
  4. Bring the user research to life by incorporating user testing
  5. Don’t rely on first impressions

Summary

Of course we are just scratching the surface to user testing and user research activities, but hopefully it has been of use. Of course get in touch with us if you would like more information or are considering these types of activities.