Brendan Mulligan, co-founder and designer of the community photo sharing app Cluster, recently posted a series of articles on TechCrunch, detailing the importance of live user testing and how a comprehensive plan could be built and executed. The recipe breaks down something like this:
1) Define the parameters of the project:
- What are you testing? (e.g. iOS app, Android app, desktop app)
- Why are you testing? (e.g. functionality, usability, security, localization, load)
- How are you going to test? (define scope, hardware and OS requirements, maybe write a test case)
- Who is going to test? (define desired tester characteristics)
- When are you going to test?
- Where are you going to test?
2) Pre-test admin:
- Recruit, select and finalize test team and testing schedules
- Acquire the needed testing equipment, devices and additional required resources
- Prepare testing spaces, if applicable
- Onboard testers, explain scope and requirements, explain bug reporting and feedback processes
- Run live user tests
- Collect and organize bug reports, user feedback and any related materials like screenshots user videos
- Administrate tester compensation and debriefing if applicable
4) Post test analysis and action:
- Assemble bug reports, user feedback and related materials into consumable, sharable and hopefully quantifiable formats
- Distribute data and information to dev team members
- Collaborate with team members to identify and prioritize actionable items
- Develop the next iteration of the product
- Plan to run that next iteration through another live user testing plan
Rinse and repeat throughout the life of the product.
With small scale live user testing needs, DIY might be indeed be a viable path for many digital experience developers. But with modern-day digital globalization there’s really no such thing as ‘small scale’ anymore – especially when you start factoring in mobile fragmentation and localization demands. This is why we do what we do. After all, your end goal isn’t testing for testing’s sake, it’s to deliver amazing digital experiences – whether it’s desktop, mobile, wearable, web or native app – that captivate, engage, and keep customers.
Off hand, if you’re curious about what your own DIY costs might look like, we’ve got a handy calculator that can do just that.