Sometimes questions are more important than answers
Frequently Asked Questions
We’re often asked questions about what we do and how our approach works. Here are our best answers.
How do you recruit users?
As part of the planning meeting at the beginning of the project, we sit down with your team to get a better understanding of who your target audience are. We use this insight to build a brief that our recruitment partners, who have vast networks and researchers on the ground, will use to find the people we need.
How many users do you recommend?
if you want to identify barriers to purchasing on your website five users is usually enough, typically by your 6th user you’ll start to see the same patterns of behaviour repeat and your value from the tests start to diminish. If you want to know more, check out our article Only 5 users?
What stage in the project should we involve users?
There’s no time like the present! Seriously though, getting user feedback as early as possible in the process is best, but not always possible. We test anywhere in the development cycle but we believe little and often is the best approach. We’ve written about this in more depth in our article, stop waiting for the perfect time to run usability tests.
How long does a user testing project take?
A typical usability test will take 3 weeks from sign-off to report delivery and workshop. There are lots of factors that influence this like how easy or difficult the users are to recruit. We have a few other options to allow for a much quicker turn-around too.
Where do the tests take place?
We can test anywhere in the UK. We have UX labs dotted all over the country so that we can support your geographic and demographic needs. We also have mobile testing facilities to allow us to test at your offices if that would allow you to get more of your team observing the research.
UX Methods Questions
What is usability testing?
Usability testing is a way to see how easy to use something is by testing it with real users. Users are asked to complete tasks, typically while they are being observed by a researcher, to see where they encounter problems and experience confusion. If more people encounter similar problems, recommendations will be made to overcome these usability issues.
What is user centred design?
User-centred design is a process or set of tools used to design a service which focuses on what users need at the very beginning and continues throughout development until launch. Typically services are designed from a technical and business perspective, with consideration for users added in later. Instead, User-centred design ensures the service focuses on what users need before balancing this with the technical and business requirements.
What is wireframing?
Wireframing is a way to design a website service at the structural level. A wireframe is commonly used to lay out content and functionality on a page which takes into account user needs and user journeys. Wireframes are used early in the development process to establish the basic structure of a page before visual design and content is added.
What is a website prototype?
Website prototypes are interactive demos of a website. These are often used to gather feedback from project stakeholders early in the project lifecycle, before the project goes into final development
What is user requirements capture?
User requirements capture is a process used to understand what typical users will need from a service which is about to be designed. Users are observed using similar services and interviewed about the ways they go about planning and completing their goals. This information is used to identify a list of content, features and functionality the new service must have in order to satisfy the needs of its users.
What is customer profiling?
Customer profiling is a way to create a portrait of your customers to help you make design decisions concerning your service. Your customers are broken down into groups of customers sharing similar goals and characteristics and each group is given a representative with a photo, a name, and a description. A small group of customer profiles or ‘personas’ are then used to make key design decisions with, e.g. “which of these features will help Mary achieve her goals most easily?”
What are user journeys?
A user journey is a path a user may take to reach their goal when using a particular website. User journeys are used in designing websites to identify the different ways to enable the user to achieve their goal as quickly and easily as possible.
What are focus groups?
Focus groups are a research method used to gather feedback and opinions from customers. Each person in the group is encouraged to participate in a discussion which is pre-planned by a researcher and is guided by a facilitator. Focus groups are typically used to gauge opinion and gather information from users about products, services, and features before they have been developed.
What is remote usability testing?
Remote usability testing is a way to test how easy to use a website is with users who are in a different geographical location. Traditional usability testing brings users and researchers together in one place to conduct the test, whereas remote usability testing allows the researcher and user to be in different locations while the test is completed.
What is an expert review?
An expert review is where a usability expert uses his/her knowledge and experience of testing websites with users to walk through a website in the shoes of a typical user. The expert will spot problems and recommend changes to improve usability when budgets and timescales don’t allow for user research.
What is service design?
Service design makes a service easier to use, more useful and more desirable for the customers who need to use it: the service user. Whether creating an entirely new service or improving an existing one, service design focuses on what customers really need at each stage of their interaction with an organisation.