What is Your Excuse for Not Testing Your User Experience?

By Rick Damaso

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“I don’t have the time.” “I don’t have the budget.” Stop me if you’ve heard any of these —or used them yourself— as reasons not to consider user testing.   

As researchers, we often hear about our clients facing significant budget and time constraints when it comes to their development life cycle. However, if you are focused on delivering the best experience to your customers, and you should be or you won’t be around much longer, these barriers should never be the reason that holds you back from incorporating a user feedback model. The truth of the matter is, UX testing does not have to be expensive or time consuming to pack a punch.

Given the constraints on stakeholders to maximize budgets, the topic of user research ROI inevitably makes its way into many conversations amongst leadership. Key Lime Interactive (KLI) took these conversations—listened and learned from our partners— and subsequently created QuickInsights. This targeted and intensive research solution can be carried out in as few as  five days, while still delivering meaningful and actionable insights to our clients. As we’ve learned, when it comes to the ROI of user research, the opportunity cost of doing nothing is simply too great to ignore.

We don't have time

Most product & design teams would welcome as much user feedback as they could get their hands on. However, for teams managing shrinking timelines, incorporating user feedback seems to take a back seat to development and is unfortunately at the top of things to eliminate.  

For example, take a traditional formative UX test. An organization may conduct a series of quantitative competitive benchmarking assessments, bring in participants to discuss pain-points in the market place, and ultimately yield customer co-created design insights. In general, an agile environment can’t afford the typical 6-8-week timeline this would require. We agree.   

Traditional engagements, such as the example above, do make sense in certain situations.  However, in scenarios where design is dictating a break-neck pace, time is of the essence. As a result, KLI can quickly step in and implement a customized research plan that incorporates a rapid, iterative approach to testing and tailors your critical research needs to fit a 5-day model.

A sample timeline could look something like this: 

Day 1: Kickoff and Recruitment
Day 2: Study Prep
Day 3: Fielding
Day 4: Analysis
Day 5: Delivery

KLI is able to make QuickInsights not only a viable option, but a valuable one too because of the specificity with which we approach testing. To maximize time and effort, our research team works with your stakeholders to peel back your research questions and get down to the fundamental level of what your team is trying to uncover. What you end up with is a single, laser focused objective, that in turn can be evaluated with a relatively smaller sample size. The savings in time and effort, especially during the recruiting process, makes this model a strategic fit for organizations that need to be tactical in addressing their UX objectives.

We don't have the budget/resources

This is one of the most common responses we get when talking to organizations who are not actively incorporating user feedback into their design process. We’re always amazed to hear to things like:

Well, we have a lot of product experience on the team”

“Our designers have a good handle on what our customers want”

“We listen to marketing and let our business objectives guide us”. 

 What is your excuse for not testing your user experience?

THIS IS NOT GOOD UX!

The reality is, budget and resources are still a real concern. So, here are some things we have incorporated to make QuickInsights work, without breaking the bank:  

1. Ditch the traditional UX reports.

  • Robust reports with user videos can be valuable to you and your organization. But in some cases, it can be the equivalent of using a sledgehammer to put up a nail. Shifting the mindset of traditional UX reporting is something we have been working on with clients who simply don’t have the time to sit and wait.  

2. Instead, work at the workshops.

  • At Key Lime Interactive, we like to call these Data Immersion Workshops. As opposed to lengthy reports, this is an opportunity to get your team’s hands dirty with the user insights. Led by expert researchers who know what it takes to move the needle in terms of engagement, your team can walk out of a workshop with a clear understanding of your user’s pain points, and a clear plan of action on how to act on it. The artifacts come from a streamlined report containing the main highlights during research, and prioritized action items created during the workshop.  

3. Say goodbye to the fancy facilities with the tasty snack bars.

  • A typical 12-person, 2-day in-lab engagement can quickly kill any hope of maximizing a tight research budget. But, who said valuable insights can only be collected behind a one-way mirror. Tactical testing can still be accomplished at coffee shops, college campuses and even in your business park if you adhere to a well-defined screener and data collection process. Being flexible and ditching the costly facilities can be a critical step to maximizing your research budget.

 

We understand that organizations may not always have the luxury to allocate extensive time or resources to traditional user testing engagements, however, you don’t have to sacrifice user insights as a result of shrinking timelines and budgets. With QuickInsights, decision makers are able to incorporate the benefits of UX research, while making the design, build, test, and learn model sustainable.

 

READ MORE: 3 Tips to Get Leadership to Value UX Using Business Outcomes, 5 Steps to Recruit & Onboard Participants for Remote Usability Studies, Strengths and Weaknesses of a True Intent Study, 3 Ways to Incorporate Personas Into Every Department at Your CompanyPlanning a Better Usability Study, Our Researchers Can Join Your Team

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