User testing can be simple, cheap, and fast

User testing can be simple, cheap, and fast

Before I quit my job and start creating UX courses, I was working full-time as the design lead at www.ticketswap.com, a marketplace where people can buy and sell second-hand tickets for music festivals.

At TicketSwap my mission was to upgrade our design process and change it to the following:

  • Stop designing static pixel-perfect screens and instead start designing interactive prototypes that can be tested.
  • Stop spending time discussing in the design team what we think about our designs, and spend more time user testing them to find out if they are really working well or not.

Our goal was to do user testing part of our weekly design routine. Not an extra task we have to do at the end of the process but really incorporate it into our design process and do it frequently.

The only way to achieve that was to find a way to do user testing cheap, fast and simple.

We had to satisfy all of these 3 criteria otherwise our process wouldn't work.

That's why we did the following:

  • Simple and fast: We used multiple simple user testing methods that didn't take more than 30 minutes and every designer could use. No labs, no cameras to track users eyes and movements, no crazy stuff.
  • Cheap: We tested our designs with users that were interested into helping us, with friends and family and internally with teammates that used it and didn't belong to the product team.

This way we made it and user testing was the go to solution to validate our assumptions. Instead of discussing what we think, we started discussing about what our users think. And all these without spending any extra money and without hiring anybody.