Here at Fresh Egg we understand the importance of user research. We know that humans are complicated and that in-depth user research is vital for truly understanding their needs, behaviours and motivations.
We then use these findings to inform our CRO recommendations and to feed into our overall design process. Seeing how real users interact with a website or app helps us to understand where changes can be made to the design to improve the overall experience.
Our user research primarily focuses on how users interact with websites, though will also touch on their overall needs and motivations. The types of user research we undertake include (amongst others) card sorting, tree testing, customer interviews, user surveys and user testing. When it comes to user testing, we run both moderated and un-moderated tests, though where possible we favour the former in order to gain more insight into the users of a particular website.
We tend to use moderated testing so that we can delve deeper into why users are doing what they're doing. Asking why users have clicked a particular link or followed a particular journey gives us insight that may otherwise require some guess work. This type of testing also gives us the opportunity to interview the participant to find out more about their behaviour and motivations, providing a real understanding of the needs of users beyond how they interact with the website.
Challenges of running user testing
Most people agree that, when run correctly, user testing has many benefits to creating a great user experience. There are sometimes barriers to this type of research though. Cost is often a big reason that user testing is overlooked, and with user testing labs costing up to £1,000 a day it’s no wonder that testing can be seen by some as a luxury. Then there’s the challenge of finding a lab in a specific location. If you want to run user testing in particular towns then I may not be easy to find a suitable venue to host your session.
To get around this we’ve created our own pop-up testing kit. The kit is completely portable which means we’re not tied down to a specific location. We’ve recently run testing with this kit in the offices of one of our clients as well as in our own office and in rented space in London. This flexibility means we’re able to run more affordable user testing at any location with an internet connection.
The kit itself is made up of cameras to view the users’ face (and hands if they are using a mobile device) as well as recording the screen. We then stream the session via a link that can be shared with observers from the Fresh Egg team and the client. This is often watched live, though the recordings are available to watch back after the sessions have finished too.
The kit can be set up within minutes at any location with a strong internet connection. This gives us a great option when it comes to running usability testing across both websites and apps.
The video below shows an example of a test of a simple user journey through a website.
When's the best time to run user testing?
There are several times during a project where user testing can give valuable insight into user behaviour. If you're looking to launch a new product or feature, user testing can show you how users react to your proposed design. If you have an established website but are looking to improve the usability of it then running testing will help highlight areas for improvement.
The pop-up testing kit has given us more flexibility for our user research. We still prefer to use dedicated labs as they are set up to run this kind of research and offer complete reliability. However, there are several advantages to using our pop-up kit and we’ve already seen success with it for recent client projects.
If you're interested in discussing how user testing might work for your business, please get in touch.