User testing is non-negotiable in 2024. It’s easy to get caught up in our own assumptions about what users want when we create a product. We get it. We pour our hearts and souls into our projects, too. And sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way we expected it to. If only there was a way to find out what our users need.
Accepting that your solutions don’t fulfill your users’ needs may be disheartening. But the truth is, no matter how much experience or expertise we have, we can rarely predict how users will interact with our creations. Luckily for you, there is a way to find out how real people interact with your product or service: user testing.
Why is user testing non-negotiable in 2024?
Here are our top 5 reasons why consistent user testing will be non-negotiable for every Product Manager and UX Designer this year.
1. Your users will inspire you.
Right off the bat, user testing is an excellent source of inspiration and new ideas. Not only is it always accessible at every stage of the design and development processes, but it’s affordable too. Oh, and it takes just 5 minutes to get started with Userbrain. (Shameless plug!)
With over 90% of CEOs predicting a recession in 2024, a challenging financial period lies ahead for products and services that don’t leverage their users’ insights to grow.
Think of user testing as a portal into the inner workings of your users’ minds. I mean, there’s a reason why we named our platform Userbrain. It’s because Userbrain is like having a crystal ball that lets you see into the future and see how users will interact with your creation.
You get to see firsthand how people experience your product, what they like and dislike, and where they get stuck. This information is invaluable because it allows you to identify and fix problems before they become more significant.
2. Users expect personalized experiences.
Personalization has been one of the hottest marketing topics over the past few years, with good reason. As users become more accustomed to personalized experiences, it will be crucial to ensure that your product or service is designed to meet their individual needs.
Despite what countless YouTube gurus might advise, the one-size-fits-all era of product development is well and truly over. What works for the masses is probably not an optimum solution for your users.
Consistent testing will allow you to discover any issues that users may encounter when trying to make their experience more personalized. Once you identify those problems and make adjustments to design products that are easy to customize.
3. AI will continue to grow… and grow.
It’s entirely possible that this article might be the only piece published today which wasn’t written by ChatGPT. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Still, it’s not far-fetched to claim that AI technology has significantly improved over the past 12 months.
As interactive AI becomes a common feature of our products and services, ensuring our creations are compatible with these systems will be essential. We can discover pain points in those areas where our users will interact with AI systems by conducting regular user tests. Acting upon user testing insights will help to ensure that your users enjoy a seamless experience between your product and any AI integrations. And who knows? With a few iterations, you could end up with a system that is easy, intuitive, and enjoyable to interact with.
4. Remote work is here to stay.
It’s safe to say that many of us have gotten used to our home comforts recently. A recent McKinsey survey found that 87% of the American labor force work from home at least 1 day per week. With more and more people working from home, it will be even more critical to ensure that products and services are designed for remote use. User testing can help identify any issues that may arise when people use a product or service from a different environment than initially intended.
The question you need to ask yourself is: have I tested my product or service across a variety of devices? A flawless user interface on a 27-inch monitor might look like trash on a 13-inch MacBook screen, as many UX Designers have found out the hard way. That’s why Userbrain allows users to test websites, prototypes, and apps across various browsers and device types, with over 100,000 active testers ready to help you out.
5. Technology is advancing rapidly.
Not only is technology advancing at a frightening pace, but the market is also becoming more competitive due to a downturn in the global economic climate. While this is an exciting time to be alive, new and unfamiliar technologies pose significant challenges to product owners.
User testing is more important than ever to ensure that products and services are up to date, meet the users’ needs, and are competitive in the market. User testing is an essential step in the design process because it helps us pinpoint any problems that may come up when people are using new technologies. By conducting user testing, we also ensure that our products and services are designed to keep up with the latest trends and technological advancements.
It’s easy to get caught out by new technology – it happens all the time, even to the most successful blue-chip companies. One of our all-time favorite examples of a tech blunder was when the whizzkids at telecommunications giant O2 implemented their first live chat system. Live chats and chatbots have become increasingly popular over the last decade, and O2 probably thought they were on to a winner. But instead of being a surefire way to improve their customer experience, it had quite the opposite effect, as our friend Alex found out:
A live chat queue could be more helpful when you have customer support agents available. Just a thought.
User testing is non-negotiable in 2024
As our world becomes more remote yet inclusive, technologically advanced, and AI-driven yet personalized, user testing will become non-negotiable. By consistently conducting user testing, you will help ensure that your product or service is designed with an understanding of your users in mind. You can rest assured that you’re taking the proper steps to meet your user’s needs in a rapidly changing digital world. User testing is, and always will be, a crucial stage in the product development process. That’s why user testing is a non-negotiable task for every Product Manager and UX Designer in 2024 and beyond.