We've all heard stories about the logo that falls flat, or the website that nobody can use, in each of these cases end user testing can save us from making a costly error.
A key element for your brands performance is how well you know your customer, and observing them use your product or service can deliver a flood of insight to propel that product or service, and therefore your business to the next level.
User insight has proven a valuable for politics, entertainment and corporate marketing, and it has made its way into smaller-scale applications. Businesses are finding their assumptions challenged and they are making smarter choices that reflect what their customers actually want.
Gathering insights can take various forms including focus groups, website use analysis, and even direct observation. We want to avoid making assumptions about what our customers want, and should endeavour to gain a deep understanding of how they interact with products and services.
In a recent project Walker Designs was asked to design a new website for a member of the healthcare industry. Their existing site had proven difficult to use and left us without any significant user insight. Without user insight delivering the best outcome becomes more challenging. We decided to run a focus group to select the optimal option from two separate layout designs for the website.
The outcome was not what we expected. Instead of selecting the better layout option they picked the navigation from one layout, the button styles from another, etc. From that investment in testing we have been able to design a website far more effective than either option could possibly have been on its own.
Consider end user testing to smash any assumptions you may hold to gain valuable knowledge of your customers. This clarity means you'll be better positioned to know what they need, and more able to deliver.
Author: Matt Mercier