Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

How To Start User Testing At Your Company

There will come a time where your business will need to operate on more than just a gut feeling and some industry experience. User testing goes beyond just reason, it takes a deeper look at the motivations of users to create something that resonates with their wants and needs. User testing will help you sneak up on an idea, although it’s advantageous to set out with some parameters in place before you start your research and testing. Understand what segment of your business you are looking to enhance or create, and which target audience your users identify as.

If you’re ready to undertake testing and implement authentic change in your business, here is how you can get started.

Define your different customer types.

Successful user testing is all about carefully defining your customer groups. Whether you already use a customer segmentation framework or simply segment based on purchase behaviour, make sure you have a strong understanding of your customer groups. User testing is all about understanding what your customer does and how you can innovate or improve their experience based on their actual behaviour. By starting with a clearly defined customer segmentation model, you can recruit a good cross-section of customers to take part in your user testing. If you only focus on one type of customer, you can only hope to understand a small sub-section of your customers. It won’t mean you can’t improve your experience, but overall you will miss a larger opportunity.

Watch your customers, don’t just listen.

User testing is a powerful way of understanding how your customers use your service or product and why they use it in particular ways. Even the very best customer experience designers will only ever be able to design an experience as good as the information they have available. That is what makes user testing so advantageous. It is crucial to success that you observe your customers in real life. Simply asking a customer how they use your service or product will only ever yield a certain view of the experience. Instead, design your user testing so you can observe your customers in their own homes, workplaces or wherever they might use your products or services. By observing a user in their own environment it helps replicate the truest version of their experience. Then as they go through their process, you can get a much deeper understanding of the areas you can improve.

Equipped with the right tools.

User testing can lead to some potentially groundbreaking insights into your process design and service offerings. Before you go ahead and start changing the game forever, make sure you are equipped with the right tools. One of the best tools you will need to truly take advantage of user testing is a framework for prioritisation and planning the roadmap of changes. A great tool for this exact job is the Implementation vs Benefits realisation scale. This tool is a simple four-quadrant diagram which allows you to plot all of the potential improvements you may find through your user testing. The tool then challenges those in the business who will be taking the changes forward, to plot the changes on two axis. The first is against the ease with which a change can be implemented, and the second is against the perceived benefit to the business of making the change. Agreeing what format of this tool you will be using before you commence user testing will give you a clear path forward for prioritising any potential changes.

User testing has the potential to radically change the face of your business and how that business resonates with the market. While the testing and research phase is free form, it is important that you have some clear parameters that will keep you to account at each stage.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

Tagged as: ,