It is never too late for a user test

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The users. Otherwise known as people. Those spoilers who do not understand how to buy products and services online, how to contact companies, how to request a quote or simply return to the homepage. The nightmare of analytics. The source of all Mountain View power.

Evaluate the expectations of the users and their behavior, analyzing their interaction with information, is the only way to prevent their frustration from turning into a failure for the experience they were performing. Failure which means a hole in the water of small or large investments.

Is there a right time to perform an user testing?

The question that most often occurs during my project meetings is: “when is it good to perform an user testing?”. I always have the good taste to answer “It depends”.

Why “It depends”?

Testing with users has the merit of being a malleable and flexible tool, capable of bringing value to any project phase. Here are some examples.

The user test can be used at any stage of the project depending on yours #UX needs.

Have you just decided to rebuild the ecommerce catalog but you are not sure that users understand the product categorization?

The answer is a card sorting, live or remote, for the verification and the shared construction of a classification that is understandable, intuitive and effective.

Are you thinking about browsing your site and want to check which content structure works best?

Try to test the information architecture and its variants with a test with remote users, which evaluates their performance in a comparative manner before moving on to the design phase.

Are you in the middle of a conversion rate optimization plan?

In addition to a healthy practice of A/B testing or multivariate, you can refine design hypotheses with cycles of mock up or prototype tests semi-functional, in order to propose consolidated interaction experiences.

After a crazy and desperate project you finally have a demo area.

Before putting everything online it is good to refine the last details of copy, labeling and interaction. Such as? Take a dozen users and perform an usability test with eye tracking and think aloud.

User tests also have the ability to break the barriers of digital and traditional usability.

Do you want to understand which layout works best for in-store product presentation?

Ask users to move around the store and follow the live experience, with environmental eye tracking. Or create more variations of a shelf or a showcase and evaluate the performance within a controlled environment.

Still not enough for you?

Then you are ready to analyze the pleasure of an experience by integrating user tests with brain wave analysis.

Ok, it depends. But so?

It depends. There is no better time to engage users, but two rules apply:

  • “The sooner we do it, the better it is”, which translates into time, budget and energy savings, as the project can focus on the needs and expectations tested by the target users
  • “Better late than never”, that is, it is always preferable to carry out a test even in advanced stages of the project, useful for gathering valuable references on the evolutionary lines and improving the experience.


A user test is always useful to gather valuable information to improve the #UX experience.


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14 April 2016 Luca Rodighiero

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TAG: CRO eye tracking usability test user testing