User experience (UX) is vital to business success these days. With more than 80% of internet users willing to pay extra for a good user experience, providing exceptional UX has become a top priority for every business.
Never before has user-centricity been this crucial; according to stats, 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts because of poor UX. The only way to deliver a perfect user experience is through usability testing and iterating.
As user expectations increase, companies must test their product or feature at every stage, and agile development creates opportunities to test at every step. Therefore, agile usability testing has become essential for development lifecycles to launch the perfect products and features. But how do you ensure that you are doing it effectively? Well, following the best practices can help.
Read on for some best practices for agile usability testing.
1. Start Small, but Test Often
Agile usability testing is all about conducting testing activities from the very beginning of the product development process to continuously collect user feedback and improve user experience. And since you will be continuously testing, the projects are often small and frequent.
What this also means is that you don’t need a large sample set of testers to run these tests. In fact, you can run these tests on as few as 5 -10 participants and still uncover 85% of your usability issues.
Conducting such smaller tests more frequently throughout the development stages will help you create a continuous feedback flow that will help you validate your product at every stage of the development process.
2. Create a Plan Before Testing
Making a script or a research plan that includes step-by-step points before you conduct the test is always recommended. Most UX researchers know that. This helps them build a cohesive and concise dialogue around the questions and helps them get the answers they seek.
Similarly, to make usability testing work in an agile environment, you should create a script before you start. This way, you simply have to follow the procedure from the script while testing. Also, a research plan or script will help you stay on track and ensure you’re gathering the data you need to make informed decisions and get better results.
But when creating scripts, don’t forget to include essential notes, test introductions, data of the tasks’, and remarks.
3. Communicate Results Quickly
The main goal of agile usability testing is to test the product at every stage of the development process so that you can identify any possible issues early on.
And while it is important to continuously test and collect user feedback, it is equally important to communicate this feedback to the relevant teams so that user experience can be continuously improved. But typically, these types of research happen in silos, and the insights gained from the users are not communicated effectively and in timely manner. This results in rework and ineffective research.
Just create a quick executive summary followed by recommendations for the pain points discovered and share it with the stakeholders regularly so that everyone knows the risks associated with each project.
4. Involve Your Entire Agile Team in Usability Testing
Agile usability testing aims to make continuous improvements by sample testing products at every stage of the development process to improve user experience. But no matter what you are testing and how often you are doing it, the entire product team is usually responsible for the quality of the end product, so the whole team should be involved in the testing.
The entire product team should have access to real user insights as this way, they can get insights into the actual usage of the product or service they have spent so much time and effort working on. When developers and testers see the real struggles of their users, they will be able to understand it better, think of better scenarios and cases, and make the product or feature more user centric.
After running a few such usability testing sessions, most team members will come up with new and better ways to improve the ease of product use.
To create and launch high-quality products, a company needs to continuously evaluate the usability of its product throughout its development cycle, and agile usability testing lets us do that.
It is crucial to conduct agile usability testing as it allows for identifying and resolving usability issues early in the development process, leading to better products that meet users’ needs. But if you haven’t started conducting agile usability testing yet, and are getting overwhelmed by thinking about how to do it effectively, these agile usability testing best practices will help.