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UX testing: why it is important and how to conduct it

Level of difficultyEasy
Reading time4 min

UX testing is one of the most important parts of the UX design creation process for any software product. It helps to understand whether users are satisfied with the design and highlights its problematic areas that need to be fixed or improved. UX testing is an important part of the whole testing process - it helps to get beta-testers feedback to determine whether the product is comfortable for users and gives opportunity to improve problems and issues before moving on to the next stage of the development process. It also contributes to reducing the cost of development, as it is much cheaper to fix issues during the development process rather than after the release. Listed down below are 5 simple tips that can help perform UX testing in a proper and effective way.

  1. Define the goal of testing   

The purpose of different testing processes is not always the same. Therefore, be sure to define the goal before starting each testing session. For example: “Is our design aesthetically pleasing?”, or “Is our product’s navigation intuitive enough?”. Knowing the goal will help you to find the right audience for beta-testing and determine which metrics you should test your ideas against. 

  1. Break down the testing process into steps 

In order for the testing process to work, you have to divide it into stages and move systematically from one step to another. Usually, it’s better to test the whole concept at first, then move to the testing of layout, then conduct the final testing of a full prototype. Breaking testing into stages makes it easier to fix issues after each stage and slowly build the product from the base to the top. 

  1. Take your time to find reliable test participants

Finding the right audience to take part in testing your product is very important if you want to get proper reviews and objective criticism. There are different ways to search for the right test participants. If you already have other products, you can hold testing among your loyal customers. Another way to find test participants is to search for the special communities of your target audience on social media. The UX of a product can also be tested by members of the development team itself who didn’t take part in creating the UX design.

  1. Admit mistakes

Don’t expect testing to always go smoothly. Keep in mind that you are conducting it to make the product better for the users instead of proving that what you’ve created is already “excellent”. This means you should be attentive to all the reviews you receive and try to find ways to improve issues that your customers are not satisfied with. Again, it’s better to fix issues on the testing stage rather than release a product that will disappoint users.

  1. Discuss testing result with the rest of the team

Even if fixing the issues after testing requires the work of only UX designers, it is very important to discuss the results of testing with the whole team. It will notify your colleagues on the main changes in the product and help define the next steps of the development process. If you have time, it’s also a great idea to share what you’ve learnt from the testing process with others. For example, you can write a blog post so that other UX designers could learn from your experience.  

How to conduct UX testing on a small budget?

Timely and regular testing is crucial for the development of a successful digital product.  Unfortunately, conducting UX testing often turns out to be an expensive procedure that can require four-digit sums of money. Not all companies can bear such expenses, which leads them into opting out of testing at all. That, in fact, is a wrong thing to do, since UX testing is really necessary if you want to make a good product. If your budget is limited, here are some ways to perform testing in a more simple and cheaper way. 

  1. Use cheap or free software tools

There are a lot of software tools for UX creation and testing, and many of them are quite expensive. It’s convenient to use them if the budget allows, but there is no need to waste money on them if the budget is already limited. You can use cheaper or even free tools instead. For example, use PowerPoint instead of purchasing a special program to showcase UX designs. When interviewing users, write down notes on paper or in Word. While it might be less comfortable than using special tools that make testing easier, it will definitely save you a lot of money, since all professional programs cost a lot. 

  1. Start with a small number of participants

There is a common belief that UX testing should include as many participants as possible in order to get more information and lead to better results. While it might be true for large projects, there is no need for a small project to spend a budget on attracting a lot of participants. It’s okay to start with interviewing a few users (up to 10) and getting their insight on working with the product. Their thoughts and experience will most likely be enough to detect problems in the product’s UX. Later you can attract more participants as you improve the product and replenish the budget.

  1. Test remotely

Testing face-to-face is another thing that gobbles up not only money, but also time. It’s much faster and cheaper to talk with participants via video calls. Screen-sharing tools (like the one Skype has) can help you see how participants are interacting with the product. In some cases you can even ask users to record their screens when testing the product and then send it for you to watch later. Remote approach also allows you to find participants in any part of the world rather than narrow down searches to your location. 

  1.  Hire freelance testers

Large projects tend to have their products’ UX tested in agencies or IT laboratories, but that definitely costs money. A much cheaper way is to hire freelance testers on corresponding sources. The work quality of a freelancer might be lower than of an official agency professionals, but if you take time to choose trustworthy freelancers by reviews, you might get quite a well-performed testing.

  1. Use social networks

Social media is a great resource for not only finding volunteer participants for testing, but also learning people’s opinion. If you don’t have a budget for a full-scale testing, you can ask people to test your product (or its parts) online. While not everyone on social media takes such things seriously, there will still be a decent amount of people who will share their honest opinion that might help you have an understanding of how the audience perceives the product. 


Being a very important part of a UX design process, UX testing requires a thoughtful, meticulous and responsible approach. Conducting UX testing can require some expenses, but it’s also possible to find ways to perform it on a budget. If carried out correctly, it can speed up the development process, save budget and eliminate late detection of serious bugs and issues. 

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