User testing services

User testing allows you to learn how users react and interact with your website.

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User testing is a vital ingredient for creating and optimising your website – it tests how users react to your website, whether they can complete key tasks or goals as well as how they find the overall experience.

Methods of user testing

We use a mix of different methods depending on the needs of our clients and the objectives of the testing.

Moderated lab testing

Ideal for: Meeting users in-person to obtain deep and meaningful insights from sessions

Participants are asked to perform tasks on your site while an expert moderator observes their behaviour. The moderator is on-hand to ensure that the user understands what's being asked of them, is at ease, and isn’t ‘led’ in any way. 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 insight into the needs of users beyond how they interact with the website.

Read more about moderated lab testing

Do you need help knowing how users interact with your website?

Remote unmoderated testing

Ideal for: Allowing you to run user testing sessions with users no matter where in the world they are.

In unmoderated remote testing, the participant follows instructions on a screen, so has no interaction with a moderator. Participants are encouraged to ‘think out loud’ and provide a commentary of their actions as they try to complete each task. The main advantage of remote over moderated testing is that it generally makes it much quicker to recruit participants and turn tests around.

Read more about remote unmoderated testing

Remote moderated testing

Ideal for: Allowing you to run user testing sessions and interact with users no matter where in the world they are.

Participants are asked to run through tasks by a moderator while in the comfort of their own home. This type of testing takes place using screen sharing or video conferencing software to allow for a two-way conversation. While this lacks some of the interpersonal element of testing in-person, this type of testing enables us to run moderated tests with users no matter where they are in the world, ideal for testing international websites.

Read more about remote moderated testing

Benefits of user testing

1. Direct, specific feedback from relevant users

User testing gives you a direct conduit to your target audiences to find out how they interact with your website and where they experience problems completing a task.

By carefully selecting participants that fit with your customers' profiles, we ensure that the results are relevant and useful.

2. Unlocking the context behind the data

The phrase 'big data' has become ubiqitous in digital. While quantitative data at scale can be extremely valuable at revealing trends and patterns of user behaviour, it often cannot answer the most important question - 'why'?

User testing helps to provide the qualitative data, adding the context and meaning to the numbers. Why did a user make that choice? What influenced their behaviour? Why couldn't they find the information they needed?

3. Challenge assumptions and preconceptions

One of the biggest dangers in working to improve a website is that we become overfamiliar with it. When we know how the site works and where information is found, it's easy to overlook problems that your users regularly encounter.

Making major decisions based on assumptions is a risk. Putting those assumptions to the test can deliver the reassurance needed to press ahead - or the reality check that indicates a different solution.

4. Validate findings from other research

Sustainable user research relies on a mix of different techniques, and user testing is just one of these. One source of insight often isn't enough to give confidence in a specific solution. Equally, two or more sources can conflict.

The hands-on nature of user testing makes it a good method of validating what your research has told you. Is user behaviour consistent with the feedback gathered through surveys or interviews, for example?

Headshot of Fresh Egg's User Research Director

User testing is a vital ingredient for creating and optimising your website – it tests how users react to your website, whether they can complete key tasks or goals and how they find the overall experience.

Luke Hay, user research director
Chat with our team about helping you with a user research project

User testing - frequently asked questions

Q. How does user testing work?

A. User testing involves observing participants from your target audience using your website. The tactic is often task-based, meaning that users will attempt to perform a specific action on the website, such as finding a particular article, making a purchase or registering for a service.

Q. What does user testing do?

User testing enables you to understand better how ‘real’ users interact with your website. The process allows you to base your website design and development decisions on feedback from the people who will be using the website, rather than just basing changes on the whims of internal stakeholders. 

In short, user testing removes unqualified opinions from the web design and development process. 

Run correctly; user testing will lead to a website that is both usable and also able to meet the needs of your users. 

Q. What are the different types of user testing’?

Broadly speaking user testing falls into three types; remote unmoderated testing, remote moderated testing and in-person moderated testing.

During remote unmoderated testing, users work through a series of tasks to complete in their own home, in their own time with no moderator present. The output from these sessions are videos of the user attempting to complete the tasks while thinking aloud.

Remote moderated user testing involves participants being taken through a list of tasks by an experienced facilitator. Using audio and screen sharing software like Skype or Zoom, The sessions allow two-way communication between people situated in different locations. The output from these sessions are videos of the user attempting to complete the tasks while discussing their thoughts with the moderator.

In-person moderated user testing is live and takes place in a test ‘lab’. A good lab is often a relaxed lounge-style environment where users feel at ease. As with remote moderated testing, participants are taken through a list of tasks by an experienced facilitator. The output from these sessions are videos of the user attempting to complete the tasks while discussing their thoughts with the moderator.

Q. How much does user testing cost?

The cost of user testing depends on several factors. The first consideration is whether you are going to use any paid tools. While there are tools available to help with user testing in most cases, free tools will suffice. 

Another consideration is how you are going to recruit the right type of users. If you have access to these people yourself, then there may be a minimal cost involved here (beyond the likely need for an incentive payment for each participant). If you need assistance in recruiting specific users though then there is likely to be costs, potentially of up to £100 per user, if you use the services of a third-party recruitment company. 

Supplementary costs will include the time required to run testing and how you value that time. This will, of course, depend primarily on how many tests you’re looking to run.

Q. How does user testing and usability testing differ?

The terms 'usability testing' and 'user testing' are often used interchangeably. Different user researchers will generally have different definitions of each so the answer may depend on who you are working alongside.

The main difference between the two is that usability testing is focused primarily on whether users can 'use' a website. In contrast, user testing tends to be broader, covering user needs and opinions. Researchers use user testing to understand whether there is a need for a new piece of functionality or to get thoughts on new ideas. 

Why should I run user testing?

Researchers employ user testing to understand better how your target audience interacts with your website or app. 

If you are a website owner, you’re likely to be one of the worst people to make design and development decisions as you are too close to the product. Ensuring that your website or app works for your target audience, and meets their needs, makes perfect sense as you can be confident that decisions made based on user testing will perform well when launched.