The Beauty in Being Wrong – User Testing

May 6, 2020
Jenna Spanswick

The Beauty in Being Wrong – User Testing

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User testing is part of the process of designing a digital product. It helps guide the experience in favor of the user; taking note of what works, where the user gets stumped and listening to the user thoughts about what they see. Since this is not a final step of the product, the designer(s) should be excited to learn about where they might have went wrong, so they can fix it and make it better.

User Testing

User testing is something to get excited about, it is the time to get out of your designer head and see what others are experiencing. For me, it is the chance I get to see where I am wrong, so then I can bounce back and fix it. When working as a digital designer, you need to have an open mind and be a good listener for the user because this is the time to push the interface and experience to perfection.

Setting Up User Testing

  • Give an elevator pitch before starting – It is important for them to know what the platform is for. Disclose that you are not married to the design and their transparent thoughts are encouraged so you can become a step closer to a better experience for the user.
  • Make sure everthing is clickable – If it is the first stages and are just shared sketches I use InVision and create hotspots for users.
  • Give your users tasks – The user should have a purpose and complete journeys that will be beneficial to your study. Letting them just click around without knowing were to go leaves room for them to miss something you may miss.
  • Ask the user to speak their thoughts – it is difficult and maybe a little awkward for people to speak their thoughts when moving through the task but it is important to hear what they are processing so you can know exactly what is working and what isn't.
  • Take very detailed notes or voice record and screen record them – First ask if they are comfortable with being recorded, but this is an easy way to look back at specifics and quote them when writing your case study.


  • Choose your users with intent – Know the peopleo you are targeting and who will be using the product so you can receive actuate data and feed back. Or if you are designing for a wide range of people make sure you don't stick to one group of people, branch out.
  • Have multiple users – one to two isn't enough to get feedback, I try to shoot for 3–5 per round
  • Keep track – For me I like to take note of name, gender and age always but depending on the product there are other things to look at. Such as: marital status, where they live etc.

Implementing What You've learned

  • Talk through your notes – Go over what stood out, if there were any over laps between your users
  • Make a priority list – Focus on the trouble spots first and solve the user journey gaps if any
  • After a few revision look back at your list – You may have forgotten some things that could be the missing piece down the road

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