“Although functionality is still the top priority, now digital products are also required to be user-friendly and visually appealing.In this context, UX (user experience) testing is a cornerstone of the product’s lifecycle.”
Brooke, Sophia (2018) The Essential Toolbox of UX Testing Methods
UX design and research is extremely important in the improvement of digital platforms to keep up with the expanding and rapidly modifying competitor landscape. For corporate businesses, it gives insight into the consumer market, realising behaviours, wants and needs- sometimes very personal, nuanced and even subconscious. It is the role of the UX designer / researcher to explore these subjective behaviours and opinions, and qualify them in data that can instigate action and steps to improve the experience of a given product.
I have summarised User Research, its types, means and purposes into the following flowchart for my personal reference:
In an exercise, my colleague Daphne and I sketched out a mock script for a user interview and test, to evaluate the ASOS website.
- Please describe your past and present experience with the website.
- Do you shop online, and how frequently?
- Who do you usually shop for?
- What device do you usually use to shop online? Do you use an app or URL?
- If URL, do you usually search (and how) or is it bookmarked?
- Do you and did you use other platforms for the same purpose as ASOS? Please specify.
User Test: Shop for an outfit on ASOS. (15minutes)
Problems, ambiguities and pain-points identified:
- Filters bar disappears as you scroll down and pops up again – confusing and distracting.
- Filters did not work 100%. Daphne selected black tops only and there were other colour tops being shown in the search.
- Search can seem endless and too much.
- Available sizes can be listed on the pictures. (Suggestion)
- There is no option to check out as a guest. Log in required. Not ideal for customers who are not heavy users of the website/app or first time users. Daphne also does not like promotional mail that may come with signing up.
- The wish list function (save for later) is not apparent and Daphne missed it.
The effectiveness of a user interview and test can be concluded, as evidenced in the number of user problems (whether intentionally designed that way for a reason or not) identified in this website. Even in a short exercise, valuable insight to consumer experience of a digital platform can be attained.