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Do it yourself – the User Testing Toolbox

Karin Christen Avatar

Our team is at WordCamp Europe in Berlin and this article covers the contents of my Workshop from Saturday. The goal is to motivate developers and designers to get started with user testing. Even if the project is on a tight budget, we should never dismiss testing our work on an actual target group.


To run an effective usability test, you may automatically think of formal usability tests in a professional laboratory setup. But there are a lot of other ways and reasons, how and why we should test our digital products on users. How about looking at user testing on a different perspective?

Show usability flaws

What if you have a pitch for a potential client and you want to point out that the user experience of their beloved interactive product may have some flaws. I made the experience that it’s easier to do some quick user tests to gather the feedback from the users to showcase the conversion problems their business are facing.

Gain trust as an expert

User testing can also be very handy if you have to integrate yourself in a clients team. You may already have made an expert review of their project and made up your professional opinion. At some point, you have to confront their product owner, marketer or even designer to deliver the identified problems. With user tests, you will get much more acceptance, because it’s not you who is telling the story, but the users.

Validate your idea

It is important that you validate your idea early on, to know if your concept actually works. We all have been there, time constraints and small budgets are hindering us from doing user testing and suddenly our project is live and we move on to the next project. This is especially true in agency work. But user testing should be an integral part of your design process.

User testing should be happening at every point in the process as an integral part of an iterative design process.

Christopher Murphy

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