EX19 - User Testing

Desperately seeking the painful truth

Once we accept that all products are flawed to some degree, it becomes easier to hunt for our issues.

Updated April 10, 2020

Similar to Competitor Testing, User Testing requires the organization of participants from your research cohort to test a product. Only this time, you’re going to be checking your product instead of the competition.

Building around the structure of your recently completed prototype, participants will test your product as you record their activities and emotions. Some aspects of your product will perform well. Other portions will fail — and finding those breakpoints are the real value of a test.

User tests that fail to expose flaws in your design either fail to test your product hard enough or the result of poor execution of the test itself.

So test hard, don’t coddle your participants, and find the fatal flaws in your product designs before a paying customer does.

Resources for review

Please use the following items to guide your exercise attempt:

Article/Video Source/Author
Getting connected New Pragmatic
Participant Scheduling with Calendly New Pragmatic
Your rivals aren’t doing it all wrong New Pragmatic


Length: three-to-five hours to complete.

As outlined in the outline on running remote sessions, a successful testing session doesn’t happen by accident. Each takes a level of preparation and planning that goes beyond merely ‘talking to people.’

Being that you will host multiple testing sessions throughout the projects you work on, now is a great time to circle back to the survey data collected in the last chapter. Carefully review your data and use it to complete the following tasks.

For this exercise, you’ll be utilizing the Zoom and Calendly accounts you created earlier in the program.

  1. Create a script for your testing calls. Include details for each user flow you will be testing during the call.
  2. Select 3-to-5 members of your research cohort to invite to participate in this exercise. Make sure they are not all of the same demographic backgrounds.
  3. Craft a short email to send to each of your participants with a deadline to respond within 48 hours. Be sure to include your Calendly link.
  4. Conduct at least three competitor tests. (use of Otter.ai for documentation highly recommended.)
  5. Record your observations after each test into a sharable Google Doc.

Once complete, update your Program Journal with links to the assets produced for this exercise. Post your Journal in the #Feedback-Loop channel for review.


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