Putting designs and prototypes in front of live users and seeing what happens is always a good idea. Doing it at the right time and at the right way is an even better idea!
At TBG, we have a healthy respect for the varied perspective generated from one-on-one usability testing, focus groups, questionnaires, and the whole gamut of user testing. We realize that the right setup and methodology is key, as such testing needs to provide the maximum clarity about what the user’s responses mean.
TBG is fully-tuned into the fine nuances of understanding the results of user testing, given the typical issues with sample size (number of users tested), range of possible interpretations, and complexity of the testing regime. At the end of the day, user testing is a key way to protect against myopia and false assumptions cropping up in the course of a project. The process is ultimately a search for hidden meanings.
We use an ever broadening toolkit of different types of user testing to sort out unknown factors in a project, inserted at key points in the development process, and work with our clients to interpret the results and put them into action. The results enrich not only our user-centric design practices, but also feed back into future processes, adding to our consumption of contemporary research to understand how the syntax of digital experience—in interaction with user expectations—is changing.