What’s this all about?
User testing is one of the most important design methods in helping to uncover bugs that were hidden from developers. Thanks to its usability testing process, LEVERIS offers a user-friendly system that constantly improves work processes and makes the everyday work of bank operators a whole lot easier. In the following article, UX Designer Pavel Danyi delves into how user testing works in practice and why it leads to a positive user experience.
Read on if you:
- Want to understand what it means to user test
- Are interested in the role of UX design in banking
- Are keen to learn the four questions we ask at testing phase
Marcus Österberg, author of Web Strategy for Everyone, writes that usability is not only about ease of use. Importantly, it’s about meaningfulness and having a common objective with the user. In order for user-facing technology to have that connection, it’s imperative to have accurate insights on user behaviour. This can be achieved through user testing.
What is user testing?
User testing is a method that analyses user behaviour; it involves a group of impartial participants performing specific tasks on a system’s interface. This allows us to monitor the behaviour of everyday people and their interaction with our product. It’s how we identify potential usability issues and determine the satisfaction of operators using our system.
To better understand the requirements and benefits of user testing, consider UX guru Steve Krug’s tourist analogy. That is, take a group of tourists visiting your home city. Once you show them around and witness their response to the new environment, suddenly you begin to notice things about your city that you had previously overlooked. That’s because visitors make you look at your city through a completely different lens. They highlight the kind of things which might be obvious to you yet incomprehensible to others; the things we take for granted but which can lead to insurmountable problems.
In our case, the city is the LEVERIS digital banking and lending platform – a system built to be used by hundreds and thousands of bank operators on a daily basis. With the help of user testing, we can ensure that those users don’t get lost in the city, but instead, have a deep understanding of it and find it simple to navigate.
How we show users around our city
At LEVERIS, user testing is the responsibility of the UX/UI department. Together, the team tests a defined target group (such as, for example, mortgage service operators) about specific parts or functionalities of the system in different phases of the design process – from iteration right up to the implementation phase. Common examples include:
- What was the user’s overall impression?
- What was the best/worst thing about it?
- What they did not find on the page?
- Do they find the wording or navigation confusing?
This testing helps us to identify inconsistencies, troublesome functionality and areas where improvement is needed.
When carrying out tests, the UX/UI team uses the qualitative moderated testing method, which is a technique that allows for a better understanding of how users perceive a particular scenario and how it makes them feel. Accurate tracking of user interactions helps reveal more details of any underlying problems.
The user testing process consists of five basic steps. First of all, it is important to identify the problem. Understanding the problem helps us prepare a meaningful test scenario. The next steps are choosing our testers and performing the testing in a way that’s both effective and pleasant – how the interview is carried out also plays an important role. The final step is to analyse the results and create a clear and concise report.
One of the key advantages of using qualitative testing is the fact that it enables us to ask additional questions during the testing phase. The answers to these questions help us discover how the users are accustomed to working, what their motivations and expectations are, and why.
At the beginning of each test, the team needs to create a test scenario, which is a list of real-life tasks that users can carry out on their own. The test scenario also serves as an aid for the moderator, the person tasked with guiding the user throughout the testing period.
During testing, the participant, the moderator and the product owner are present. At this time, we are focused on four important factors:
- Do respondents complete the tasks without assistance?
- Is there a problem that is preventing users from completing the tasks?
- Do respondents complete the tasks as intended and, if not, which other methods did they choose and why?
- During testing, how are users accustomed to working – why do they do/not do certain things and what are the users’ expectations?
End goal: a positive user experience
At the end of each test, we summarise the necessary data, propose solutions and set out priorities. If feedback received is neutral/negative or if the design is not clear to the user, we review our prototype and carry out another round of testing until we get it right. In this instance, the UX/UI team is able to use these testing methods to address any shortcomings of the back-office system, such as revamping the navigation and simplifying complex forms.
When you’re a bank tech company helping financial institutions to reimagine the future of banking and to pursue change with clarity and conviction, you have to be aligned with users’ needs. User testing plays an important role in that alignment.
Not only does it help save time, cost and enable you to eliminate the kind of errors that cause friction for users, it provides the UX/UI team with an opportunity to communicate directly with users, which in turn generates valuable user feedback.
At LEVERIS, we don’t take user testing lightly. Our goal is to test regularly, act on our findings and, as a result, offer our clients a positive user experience.
You could say it ensures that tourists keep coming back to our city time and time again.