UX Work is Better When Everyone’s Involved

Dropping a quick-and-dirty set of user experience (UX) tests on a feature or project will unquestionably yield useful insights. It will also improve the quality of the design. And that’s awesome. But are there ways to make user experience work even more powerful?  I’d say yes. The more stakeholders you involve in your user testing processes, the better they will be.

Sometimes a client or team may not buy into your brilliant findings. And that’s a bummer to discover once you’ve invested time in designing, running, and synthesizing those tests.

Check out this guy’s story:
http://johnnyholland.org/2012/08/a-story-about-a-crappy-ux-study/

Creating Engagement

But if you have at least one developer and one client person observing your user tests, you have engagement. They’ll believe your results, because they saw the test with their own eyes. And if you have those same people reviewing your test parameters as they’re being developed — methods, tester candidates, etc. — you can catch problems before they happen. You can run the tests the project needs.

Iterative Testing

Sometimes we get too busy or too dug into details to remember to keep testing. (Lots of our projects don’t need constant iterative testing, to be sure. However, I like to keep my eye out for opportunities nevertheless.) Here’s an article about a “UXI Matrix” for agile teams that adds metrics for UX on to the stories/use cases we track in scrums. I’m not sure we’d use the full version in the kinds of projects we do. However, tracking a UX complexity value and a user-groups value along with the estimated hours on use cases can prove useful.

Do we need these methods with every project? Almost certainly not here at Soliant, given the level of close collaboration we have with our clients. We are rarely this formal about user testing and usually don’t need to be. But it’s useful to consider how to integrate more of our teams more frequently into all aspects of our user experience work. We can always pluck a few gems from the great work being done out in the UX community.

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