Recently at SocialCentiv, we’ve started conducting usability tests in order to learn more about our product and how to improve it. I’ve learned something new at every usability test I’ve facilitated. There’s something eye-opening about entering your user’s world and seeing how they interact with and use your product. It can be a cringe-worthy experience while you watch a user struggle to use something you’ve put so much time into, but we learn so much that helps us improve our product for our users.
What do we learn when we test?
That certain things don’t make sense.
Sometimes we get too close to the product and assume users will automatically know things that we know about our tool. They don’t, and this can lead to a frustrating experience for our user. When we test the product before we push the latest update, it allows us to find these situations and fix them.
How our users live, work and incorporate us.
We create our tool for users, so it makes sense to understand how they think, how they work, and how they integrate our tool in with their lives. How long do they spend in our tool? What time do they usually get on? What type of device are they using? These are things that help us understand what users need from our product.
I’ve seen users use SocialCentiv in innovative ways that I had never thought of before. For example, one user explained to me that she uses the option to drive people to “her website” to send people to an image link of a flyer for an event she’s hosting. This sparked an idea about how we could work images into SocialCentiv (not available just yet, but maybe down the road, folks!).
We gain so much valuable insight from usability testing that allows us to adapt our tool to work for our users. Just from starting to incorporate user testing into our process over the last month, we’ve realized where we can improve in many ways.
Side note: we are constantly looking for usability participants to help us improve our tool, so if you’re interested, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!