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User Testing – what it is and the mindset to have

What mindset should you have when you test your ideas? Lets discuss this and more regarding the user testing stage of the Design Thinking process.
Post it note with user testing showing its part of the process

User testing mindsets

User testing – the fifth stage of the Design Thinking process – helps to improve a design to make it more usable. Real users are asked for feedback on potential solutions, or they undertake particular tasks assigned to them. Data is collected from feedback and observations and amendments are made (or decisions are made on whether to carry the prototype forward).

Stanfords mindset of show don’t tell is an obvious mindset to have during this phase. We should show our potential solutions without too much narrative to start with asking people for feedback. We want to learn what people will do with it (and misconceptions they might have). We then need to be active listeners while testing accepting any feedback given without defending our solution.

A common saying with prototyping and user testing is

“Prototype as though you know you are right. User test as though though you know you are wrong”

This saying means we shouldn’t defend our concept/process/solution. Rather we collect all feedback, and then we analyse this feedback with a clear mind.

A saying that I use is feedback is a gift. This was shared from Ruby Day in our adult learning team. And it summarises this stage so well. Every bit of feedback we get can make our concept stronger, as long as we are open to it.

Another Stanford mindset used often in this stage is bias toward action.

In the user testing phase this means to test as early as you can. As soon as you create something go out and test it. This can help you refine the prototype faster. Ask very open questions, and it is still important to ask why to learn about motivations. “why did you do it this way?”. Even in the user testing stage we are learning.

Remember: The primary goal of user testing is to learn – not sell. This is why we don’t explain too much of our solution when we first give it to users.

Fail fast is another Stanford mindset. What are your comments on this mindset as related to user testing?

Have a read through other peoples comments and add your own.

This article is from the free online

The Design Thinking Toolbox

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