A person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system, or service—this is how ISO (International Organization for Standardization defines user experience or UX. If you have spent any amount of time studying apps, websites, and products, you must have come across the term UX.
Most of us know that it means user experience. What many of us don’t know is that user experience goes beyond user interface design. It’s a complete mechanism that aims to make the experience of the user better.
Today we will go through 10 tips to become a top UX tester. But before we get into that, we must differentiate between a UX tester and a UX designer. The tips that we will cover take both perspectives into account.
10 tips to become a top UX tester
The UX designer is also a UX tester because they are testing the product or service firsthand and studying the feedback. However, there are dedicated UX testers as well. They are paid to use an app, website, or product and give feedback.
In the first 5 tips, we will go through ways to make the UX testing process more effective. In the latter half, we will discuss how to be a better UX tester.
1. Determine a purpose for the test
What is it that you want to achieve from UX testing? Answering this question before testing a UI or UX is crucial. In other words, you need to know the gaps and problems you are trying to improve. If there is no problem with the existing UX, you may not need to test the UX at all. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The purpose of the UX test can be anything from changing components, adding relevant information, or making the UI simpler. No matter what your motivation is, it’s important to have one. If you don’t know what to aim for, the UX test would be useless.
2. Don’t let your biases get in the way
When you are testing or designing a UX, you should keep your biases at bay. It doesn’t matter if you hate bright colors in a UI as long as the world loves it. If there are components that you don’t like, figure out why you don’t like them. If you have no logical conclusion, it’s most likely your personal bias.
UX testers and designers should focus on what is the most pragmatic solution. It may not always be the most good-looking solution. When you keep your biases at a distance, the overall results of the UX test are much more revealing.
3. Get multiple opinions
It’s not enough to have a UX tested by 10 or 15 people. In fact, the number of people matters much less than the backgrounds of the people.
When you are creating a product, digital or physical, the aim is to spread it to as many people as possible. Some of them would be high IQ individuals, some would have a more creative bent, and some would even have cognitive disabilities. They will have their own biases that determine how they perceive the product.
When you get all your feedback from similar people (educated, tech-savvy, young, etc.), the results are bound to be skewed. It would not take into account the entire scope of the product, nor would it account for broad differences.
While you cannot tweak a product for each individual, you can make it conducive for maximum usage. The aim is to make it usable for a 20-year-old software engineer as well as a 90-year-old army veteran.
4. Track your success
Once you have data from the UX tests and implemented the changes, it’s time to track the difference. You must refer to the first point here – what is your objective?
When you have a well-defined objective, tracking success is straightforward. Let’s assume your goal is to make more people click on a pop-up ad. If the UX changes are working, you should see that reflected in the number of people who click the ad.
In other words, define your objective and measure how close you are to it.
5. Know your tools
UX testing tools can make a world of difference. Some of the most common tools for UX testing are:
- Google Analytics
- New Relic
- Adobe Experience Cloud
The right tools would also give you resources for conducting better UX tests. Check out Maze’s usability testing guide to better understand UX testing and its methods.
You should not restrict yourself in terms of the number of tools you use. As long as they are contributing anything valuable to the UX design process, you should keep using them. At the same time, you would not want to confuse yourself and others with multiple tools and conflicting data. When you use good UX testing tools, half the work is already done.
In the next segment, we will look at ways to become a better UX tester. Here we will not talk about making the UX test more effective. We will only cover tips pertinent to UX testers, both professionals and amateurs.
6. Pick legitimate platforms
Many people look at UX testing as an easy way to make money. Anything that promises easy money comes with its risks. The internet is flooded with websites and platforms that offer UX testing tasks, but not all of them are legitimate. Some are outright scams, while others may leave you hanging with payments. Here’s a list of websites to check out for UX testers:
7. Read all instructions
Every UX test has a different goal, as we already discussed. It is also the responsibility of the test designer to make the instructions clear. They can do so only if the objective is clear.
As far as UX testers are concerned, reading the instructions is crucial. Not every UX test is simply using a product and answering questions. Some tests require you to focus more on some aspects than others. In some tests, you would be encouraged to use your bias. In others, you should answer objectively.
No matter what the instructions are, going through them is important. Don’t skip it even if it’s generic. Be a good reader to be a great UX tester.
8. Use multiple devices
UX designers want feedback from a wide range of people. It includes people who only use smartphones, smartphones and computers, computers only, and so on. The UX may differ depending on which operating system you use as well. If you want to be a top UX tester, sign up for testing on multiple devices.
In some cases, UX testers are specifically looking for people who have multiple devices. This allows them to better understand the customer journey.
For example, let’s assume someone sees an ad on their phone and then opens their laptop to check out the website. UX plays a key role in this customer journey. That makes it important to text UX on multiple devices to be a top UX tester.
9. Update your demographic information
When UX testers apply for a test, their demographic background plays a big role in the selection. For example, sometimes the designers are looking for perspectives of a middle-aged mother. At other times, they are looking for the perspective of a student.
If you have been a student in the past and are now a parent, your demographic background has changed significantly. That in turn makes you eligible for different types of UX tests.
Even small changes in your life can play a big role in your eligibility. Let’s assume you go from a teacher to a salesperson. Your job profile would completely change as a result. If you don’t update your demographic details, you will not get the tests geared for sales reps.
10. Start with a blank slate
Before you start a UX test, keep your biases and preconceived notions at bay. Your job is to figure out the problems with the UX, not what you hate about it on a personal level.
While the UX tests would often want honest feedback, it’s not the same as biased feedback. Let’s assume you hate drop-down menus for some inexplicable reason. However, the UX you are testing is using drop-down menus smartly and it makes the overall experience better. You need to keep your personal views at a distance and answer from a pragmatic perspective.
Starting every UX test with a blank slate is important for all UX testers to be better at their jobs.
We hope these tips help you become a better UX tester as well as a better UX test designer. The world of UX is evolving fast, and the need for UX tests and testers is at an all-time high. Keep these tips in mind the next time you sit for a UX test.