We had a lecture on user testing and how to do it, and also a bit on how not to do.
We went through four different types of tests: observation, when you want a realistic use of your prototype; video analysis, where you can get very rich data on the interaction on a screen and reactions; think aloud, when you want to know the users reasoning; use & interview, when you want rich qualitative data from your tests.
All types of tests have pros and cons and no one fits all situations.
We also have to be conscious of when we test. We need to have something significant to test but we shouldn't wait to long as we could find fundamental flaws that have to be addressed.
I have found that testing can reveal things you wouldn't ever dream of finding because you are so invested in your product and get blind to what other people could see in it.
We also had a guest lecture with Patrik from a company called Arvato Financial Solutions, it's some kind of Klarna competitor that mainly focuses on Germany right now.
He talked about what you want to learn from your tests. What does prototypes prototype :). He also talked about the problem of building too big prototypes and the problems they have with prototypes that don't use real time data.
It is important to know the limitations of your prototype so you can cater for that in the tests.
Why do we user test?
My main take away here is why we should do it, because for me it can at times feel like something I don't prioritize over doing "real" work.
- We do it to get distance and experience the prototype for the first time through the tester.
- We might also need a reality check on why we designed it like this, wa have an agenda and it won't always align with our users.
- We often already know what is possible, both technically and politically, and this can close our mind.
- Kill your darlings. User tests can reveal things that need to be cut.