User experience (UX) testing is an underrated yet essential part of web and mobile application development and testing. In the software development life cycle, UX design plays a significant role in defining the relationship between the application and the user — it aims to make the user’s interaction with the software enjoyable, useful and easy. While organisations spend a large number of resources on the UX design process, they tend to cut corners when it comes to UX testing as they are unaware of its essentiality to the success of the app. This article will help you understand why investing in UX testing will increase the chances of your application’s victory after it is released to the market.
1. Better conversion rates
UX testing will help your team understand what your users need and want. It will give insights into the aspects of the software the users are happy with, the ease with which they can navigate the application, and what elements dissuade them from using it. Using the response of the sample set of users, the app development team can chart the features that work and those that need to be removed or replaced. By catering to the subtlest preferences of the customers, your application not only will invite more users but also will push them to take some action, thereby increasing the conversion rates.
2. Increase in customer loyalty and advocacy
Engaging in UX testing will help retain your customers, which strengthens customer loyalty. Once the users are attached to your product, they will recommend it to others, who would then turn to your software instead of your competitor’s product. The process of gaining brand loyalty may take a long time. Hence, it is crucial to minimise the obstacles in the way of building a solid relationship between the users and the software so that at the point of the users’ interaction, they will have a smooth-sailing experience. The first experience with the app is often directly related to increasing their affinity towards the application, and this is made possible by the feedback from UX testing.
3. Increase profits
The increase in conversion rates will increase the number of users that act upon the CTA button, thereby executing the business element that the app is designed to achieve. This is also made possible by the users’ loyalty which increases the popularity of your app amongst others through your users’ recommendations. What is the final result of this? Yes, you will see a hike in your profits as your active customer base expands.
4. Avoid unnecessary development costs
Without UX testing, you might not know what works and what doesn’t in your application — gaining software feedback from the users at the development stage will ensure that most of the changes that need to be made can be incorporated early on. If you wait until the app is released to figure out issues with the app and attempt to resolve them, you will incur unnecessary and exorbitant development costs.
5. Save money, time and other resources that go into customer support
Customer support is a significant part of software maintenance. While it can enrich the user experience, it can also serve as a source of feedback that can be used as inputs to make the app better. During UX testing, your team can run tests on the problems for which users repeatedly seek support. By analysing the questions that are repeated often, the team can find out common functional as well as design issues that are hindering the users’ experience of the application. Following this, appropriate measures like repositioning hard-to-access menus and changing the colour palette can be taken during the initial stages so that you can save money, time and personnel on customer support in the later stages of the software’s deployment.
6. Identify errors and bugs prior to the official release of the application and resolve them
When an application is first released in the market, it is not perfect — it undergoes constant testing and revision by the maintenance team to uphold all of the software’s functions efficiently and effectively. When the team conducts UX testing, they will be able to identify and address structural and functional errors like the inability to create accounts, wrongly linked buttons, malfunctioning in the mobile versions of the app etc. Since problems like these often lead your users to leave the app midway, never to return, fixing them as soon as possible will help you retain and increase your clientele.
7. Attain clarity
Since you and your team are too close to the application, it is possible that you might be biased towards your project, which limits you from choosing the best action plan for the app. When you test the product on users who are complete strangers to the software, you will get unbiased insights from them based on their experience with the application. This might even lead you to ground-breaking design modifications that will place you far above your competitors. Hence UX testing will help you attain clarity about the actual user experience, and you can make changes to the design of the app accordingly.
What Does User Experience (UX) Testing Entail?
1. Make a strategic plan for testing the application.
Designing a test plan involves defining clear goals that will be aided by measurable forms of testing the UX of the application. Some of the objectives that you can define are the success and error rates of the user while interacting with the software, flow efficiency and time taken to complete an action. The plan must be made well in advance so that the testing parameters can be formed after impeccable research.
2. Choose unbiased participants who fall under your target audience.
You and those associated with the application cannot act as test subjects. Nor can those who are familiar with the application because it will lead to biased results that will render the entire process futile. Set well-defined criteria to choose the participants who should be representative of your user base but not familiar with the software.
3. Conduct the test.
After giving minimum information that will help the participants get started, conduct the test.
4. Run analyses on the results.
Once you receive the results, you must analyse them with the objectives as the reference point and derive conclusions. Categorise the findings systematically into groups based on urgency and impact. For example, if the results indicate recurrent issues with the software, group them as critical, urgent and minor.
5. Use insights from the results to make the UX better.
Based on the conclusions from the UX test results, your UX team can work on the necessary course of action that will improve the software’s UX.
UX testing can bring unexpected gains to your software and lead to its success. Hence it is one of the most significant steps of the app development life cycle.