Production User Experience Testing

There’s always room for improvement. The question is, what improvements should you make? What should you remove and what should you leave well enough alone? How do you avoid inadvertently introducing new features that are ho-hum or might even cause new problems for the user?

Spend time with your users and collect contextual data while they use your product in real life. This means that you don’t give them tasks to perform. Instead, you talk to people who are engaged in activities your product supports—whether it be shopping for a TV or scheduling a medical exam—and watch them use your product as the activity unfolds. This way, you can interpret with them the intents behind their actions for a deep and precise understanding of how well your product meets their needs.

You’ll see where they are delighted so you know what not to change. You’ll see where they are having problems and why, so you’ll be able to identify what kinds of changes to make that go to root causes. You’ll also discover new things about what your users are doing to suggest new features that you hadn’t thought of before. From the data, you’ll learn where the gaps are between what users are trying to do and how well your product supports them, as well as any product features that are not needed or add unnecessary complexity.