Why User Testing is more important than you think – also for your team

User test

Why User Testing is more important than you think – and valuable to your team

7. May 2021

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When you hear the terms “user” or “prototype” testing, you probably think of software, IT or test studios with big budgets. But this can be slightly misleading. 

Every department in every company should constantly test their products and services. That goes for existing products and ones in development. The good news is that testing is neither as complicated nor time-consuming as it sounds. And to prove it, in this blog are some of ENNO’s favourite easy, light-touch User Testing methods for you to put into action straight away.

Of course you know what your customer wants... right?

Let’s be honest. Sometimes we assume what a customer wants rather than 100% know what they want. When developing a new product or service or improving something that exists, colleagues are likely to have their own idea of what needs to be done.

Maybe management has this great idea that perfectly aligns with their new strategy. Or maybe it’s the product team that thought of this super techy new feature that they can market amazingly. Back in the real world, your development team is at full capacity and is not happy about any new idea you bring to the table (nothing personal, honest!). This way, we end up compromising and create something out of thin air, trying to “make people want things” rather than to “make things people want”. So how do we prevent this?

Why testing really is that important

To truly understand and empathize with real (and potential) customers, you need to go outside your company and speak to them. User Testing is an amazing way to learn more about your customers through observations and engagement. Firstly, you can learn if you got your initial solution wrong. And secondly, you can discover if you framed the problem of your customer incorrectly to start with. User Testing validates hypotheses and/or uncovers unknown pain points that enable you to make fact-based decisions. This, in turn, helps you prioritize the right features and continuously refine your prototypes and solutions. 

When we help clients develop products, this is precisely what we do here at ENNO studio. Our approach is rooted in Agile ways of working (especially Design Thinking), an iterative process for solving human-centred problems and creating new ideas. We holistically combine the question of desirability with the questions of viability and feasibility.

• Are we creating something people need?
• Does it make good business sense?
• Is it technically feasible to produce? 

For this blog, we’re focussing on the first question around desirability. So we need to ask ourselves: how can I incorporate testing in my everyday work?

User testing is great, I agree - but… 

Now you might be saying: “This all sounds good but impossible for me to implement for my business.” Here are the common excuses for not exploring User Testing. Sound familiar?

• My teams or I don’t have time to do this, certainly not regularly.
• We don’t have enough budget for this.
• We don’t have a user testing expert on board.
• Our products and services are very complex and need to live up to certain standards, I can’t just go and test them with potential clients when they are not finished.

Our answer: User Testing isn't all that resource or time consuming AND it's doable

The easy, light-touch User Testing methods we want to focus on in this article find bugs or problems and help fixing them quickly. It allows you to get to know the potential users better and uses minimal resources. These methods don’t require expensive equipment or research laboratories, no time-consuming recruiting of testers, no paperwork and no administration. Instead, they are based on the premise that the right people are the people who are available right now. This allows for a fast, agile and lean testing process.

Even if you are developing a physical product like a particular kitchen machine, for example. You can get user feedback early by thinking outside the box. The product prototype in this example could be a landing page that showcases your new product with all its benefits and features. The product images can even be renderings if the product doesn’t exist yet. 

Now, you’re gathering feedback from real people outside your organization which helps spot whether people are interested in your idea. We can’t stress this enough: getting feedback early is our golden rule. Otherwise, you could spend time and money on something you are not sure if people want.

Ready-to-use, light-touch User Testing methods

Online ads

Test product idea and ad format in an early stage and before you launch. If it does not get any leads, then either your ad is flawed or your idea is not good enough. Investigate further.

Landing Page

Standalone pages where you display your value proposition and aim to convert to a sign-up via email or a sale. This can show the interest of the customers with the way they behave and interact on the page. Use “call to actions” (CTAs) to test user interest.

Quantitative Survey

Quick and easy, honest feedback. The shorter the survey is, the better and the more submits you’ll get.

Where to get answers?

• Social media & other networks (family & friends, …)
• Social media groups
• Quora
• Advertise your survey on social media with a small incentive
• Buy an audience (e.g. Surveymonkey)

Qualitative interviews & user tests

Interview people in person or via video call. Prepare an interview guideline based on one or several mockups or prepare an interview based on different closed and open questions alone.

Where to get answers?

• Social media & other networks (family & friends, …)
• Social media groups
• Quora
• Advertise your survey on social media with a small incentive
• Buy an audience (e.g. Surveymonkey)

A/B Testing

Test two versions of a product with a sample of users, then use the winning version. This helps to discover which performs the best in maximizing a desired outcome. Elements that can be A/B tested include subject lines for a newsletter campaign, AdWords campaigns, Outlines for a new service, colour schemes for a landing page, etc.

Learn more about our project for TEO

Crowdfunding

This means getting backers to put money into your concept before building it. Test the need for your offering and discover customer preferences. It also allows you to test your business model, such as pricing and marketing arguments. The key is to come up with a compelling elevator pitch (video, visuals, …).

Emailing

Use potential existing emailing lists of yours. Sending emails to see how many users click on the links or follow up with the email. Make sure to track the actions people are taking.

Sorting Cards

Find patterns that help to understand user priorities. Start by defining a list of priorities and then create cards with clear descriptions. Find out what matters most to your customers by having them sort topics into groups that make sense to them.

Repackage

Use a related website/product as if it were your own or repackage an existing product. If a similar idea already exists, you can use it as a quick and simple way to gather feedback. This is particularly effective when selling physical products.

Comprehension test

Does your customer understand the message of your product or service? Eliminate false-negative biases before testing commitment by evaluating comprehension. Sample sizes of your test group should generally be around 20 people and don’t need to be target customers.

How to start User Testing?

Here’s a handy checklist to help you prepare your tests accordingly:

• What do you want to test? (Verify discovered problem, Product idea as a solution to a problem, Single features, Business Model & Viability, Pricing)
• What are the underlying assumptions and built on them the hypothesis?
• Which testing method and what kind of prototype would fit best to gain feedback fast and with little resources?
• Who are your testers?
• How would you get your testers?
• How would you collect the feedback?
• What would you do with the feedback?

Need more help?

Our user testing experts are regularly supporting our clients in ongoing projects. In recent months we’ve held workshops all around prototyping and testing for HelloFresh and scholarship holders at UDK (Berlin University of the Arts), that are working on their own businesses.

It’s a beautiful thing to get creative together and see how each product and service idea can be presented as a specific prototype and how you can then test to receive first and continuous feedback. Please get in touch with us for more information.

How to generate 14 marketable ideas within three days​

Workshops & Trainings

How to generate 14 marketable ideas within three days

Oct 8, 2020

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“Customer-oriented, intensive, passionate” – this is how Björn Kuse (CEO of the HelloFresh from the DACH region) describes the last three days of ENNO-led workshops. He and his team have used these focussed sessions to dream up new ideas and innovations for the future of this already successful cooking box business. 

Say hello to HelloFresh

Unlike so many other companies, HelloFresh is emerging from the Covid crisis stronger than ever. In the first quarter alone, HelloFresh was able to increase their turnover by 66% thanks to a million new customers. Which meant that its share value also rose by up to 300% compared to the previous year. 

However, Björn knows that you cannot rest on your laurels at moments like these. Now, more than ever, it is especially important to be thinking about how to continue this growth now and into the future. So, the challenge facing Björn is to ensure that these new customers recognise the practical advantages of HelloFresh’s cooking boxes so that they’ll keep on using them in the long term.

But how do you make an already well-positioned company even more futureproof? And how do you succeed in giving voice to employees with all their great ideas and then, make them a reality?

ENNO's studio tailor-made event for HelloFresh

The answer for HelloFresh: the “HelloFresh Hackathon 2020”.  An event which we at ENNO studio organised and ran on behalf of the cooking box pioneer which took place at the beginning of September. 

We designed the hackathon format tailoring it to HelloFresh’s goals and resources. Being from outside the business, it made it easier for us to spot weak points, but also, certain opportunities that employees may not have considered before. Now it was up to us to use HelloFresh’s existing potential and to coach team members how to present their ideas expertly but also, how to put them into practice.

How we ran the HelloFresh Hackathon 2020

Before the hackathon, we conducted three input sessions (which, due to coronavirus, took place remotely). We prepped the participants for some different idea-generating methods: Design Thinking, Rapid Prototyping and Speed Pitching. This established the important theoretical basis for the hands-on, in-person activities that would take place during the actual event.

Day 1 | The Ideas Marketplace 

On Day 1 of the hackathon, we organised an Ideas Marketplace, using the Open Space concept. Here, all ideas, suggestions, and problems were collected and “offered”. These could then be taken up and supplemented. These broad-ranging ideas were summarised thematically and specific groups were formed according to interests. We formed 14 highly motivated (and slightly competitive) teams which were ready to give their all to implement their ideas in the following two workshop days.

Day 2 | Prototyping & Pitch Preparation 

These teams began by formulating the problem statement based on the findings from the previous theoretical input sessions; then by thinking up solutions for the problem and finally, by designing prototypes to visualise their ideas. On this day, the task was to prepare a convincing pitch. During the process, the participants received professional support and coaching from 5 ENNO experts, who were always available to provide advice and assistance.

Day 3 | Competition 

On the last day, the hackathon culminated in a grand competition with the individual ideas of the teams being put through their paces and evaluated by a specialist jury. The toughest critics were probably their own long-standing HelloFresh customers who were invited in especially for this event. But even they were thrilled by the inventiveness and originality of the ideas.

Our tips on how to generate unbeatable ideas in a short time

Theoretical input & training
Preparation of the participants for the application of various methods, such as Design Thinking, Rapid Prototyping and Speed Pitching.

Open Space concept
Prepared ideas are collected, offered and developed further. After topic areas have been formed, interested parties come together as working groups on the respective topics.

Problem definition & creative solutions
Formulating a problem statement and finding creative and suitable solutions for it.

Prototyping
Visualisation of the ideas so that they are easy to understand and as realistic as possible for outsiders.

Pitching
Finding a suitable way to present the idea convincingly and concisely to convince a jury or a superior. If this is successful, work can be done on the realisation and implementation.

Outcome: satisfied customers (and employees)

In the end, everyone was happy with the outcome of HelloFresh Hackathon 2020. HelloFresh was happy because a collection of realistic ideas were developed, which were not only supported by management level, but also by the employees themselves – who left keen to make ideas reality. 

And HelloFresh customers were also happy because they can look forward to an even better customer experience in the future. And we at ENNO, because it makes us happy to be able to connect and support in the right places by applying our know-how.

4 reasons why good UX & UI design is inevitable for your company

Reasons why

4 reasons why good UX & UI design is inevitable for your company

Oct 6, 2020

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If you’re not convinced yet that it’s worth investing in professional designers, we now present the reasons why it’s time to level up your UX game. Good design is more than just aesthetics – especially the combination of a nice style, usability, innovation and consistently good user experiences are key to success. 

Reason #1: You should sell more than just a product or a service - you should sell an experience

Every point of interaction that the customer has with your offer should show convincing and consistent branding. Often the first mouse click is also the first impression the user has with your product and greatly influences any subsequent interactions.

Reason #2: It reflects your Corporate Philosophy

Companies that align the whole organisation to a certain Corporate Identity will also be more successful with their product. A design-first culture with a high focus on usability, reliability, and look & feel not only makes your core product more attractive, but employees also get behind the brand’s ethos far more.

Reason #3: Investment in UX means deeper customer understanding

UX is the discipline most important for developing successful products through customer orientation.

Even during the development process, constant user feedback can be gathered. Not only can you build better products for your customers, but you also save a lot of time and money, avoiding developing features that your customers don’t even want.

Reason #4: Smart and satisfying design influences purchase decisions and ups conversion

At the heart of behavioural economics is the assumption that we are not always rational beings. Our decisions are influenced by several factors that lay in our subconscious.

It is already well known that these factors can be consciously controlled by psychological and scientifically proven mechanisms. But we UX designers know what really appeals to the human brain – making us pros at guiding purchase decisions and boosting conversion rates.

Good design is the most important way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.

— Yun Jong Yong, CEO Samsung

It's time to level up!

We believe that the best digital products attract customers and meet their needs through outstanding user experience. We work side by side with your team to share knowledge and deliver great results. 

If you want to know more about ENNO studio or share your experience and challenges with us, we’re happy to talk about them and how we can support you best.

How to make your brand talk

Conversational UI

How to make your brand talk

October 22, 2020

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In a personalised society the world wide web can be well wide of the mark when it comes to one-way customer user interfaces. And when a brand is looking to strengthen its identity, it should be defining its personality. This is something that can be done, in part, through visual design but a solely aesthetic online solution won’t be enough for a brand to truly stand out from the crowd. This is why developing new ways for people to engage with their screens is essential and ENNO believes that adopting Conversational User Interfaces is one of the ways to do it.

CUIs are really smart – so smart they have subtle, nuanced levels of interpretation that allow it to make proactive recommendations and accurate assumptions. By using a more intuitive ‘Conversational’ UI, brands encourage more positive interactions based around real dialogue to provide customised brand experiences, genuine engagement which all help boost customer loyalty. CUIs are still in their infancy but have huge potential and they are just waiting to be unleashed. 

To improve the design and functionality of language assistants we need to look at the challenges and barriers they sometimes create. Listening and learning is the only way to create first-class user experience. From our previous analysis we defined the following four problem areas:

1. Trustworthiness

To stay trusted in the digital age, brands have to be proactive when it comes to data security. A so-called “Lack of Trust” often occurs when voice assistants are handling users’ personal data and customers are asked to perform a leap of faith when they use voice assistants. It’s down to brands to ensure that all data is secure and that users feel it’s secure; backed up by simple, clear communication to let users know they’re in safe hands. However, there have been far too many negative examples of data leaks in the past, even with well-known voice assistants such as Alexa and Co. 

And even if security is tight and the communication is clear, distrust can still arise when language assistants execute speech recognition commands poorly. Which leads us to problem no.2:

2. Functionality

As a CUI designer, it is essential to explore the possibilities and limitations of the functionality of language assistants. These voice assistants try to imitate people, emulating genuine conversation to make for the best possible experience. This means not talking over the over participant but not making the pauses between utterances too long either. After all, in conversation with a person, it’s not great if you keep on being interrupted, or if you have to endure awkward silences or if you still haven’t been understood after rephrasing your point several times. 

Likewise, you also have to deal with “triggers”. For example, these are the triggers that activate the speech assistants and how specific data they collect can then be converted into actions. 

3. Design

When thinking about the design of a language assistant, it is important to pay attention to tonality and wording. Both of these contribute to how the brand is ultimately perceived by the consumer. But socio-demographic factors (such as gender) must also be taken into account. All of this ultimately reflects the character of the language assistant. And, if done well, will represent the brand and its characteristics as accurately as possible. So it’s worthwhile to examine the effect the language assistant has on the user in detail.

4. Fields of application

Where the language assistant appears also contributes to the effect it has on users. It’s the designer’s job to know which areas of a customer journey are voice assistants suitable and where they’re not so popular. Many companies have not yet recognised the enormous potential of CUI’s, which is why it can be an advantage to include them in your strategy as soon as possible. Especially in industries or areas where voice assistants aren’t so commonly used. 

5. Coherence

Another crucial point is the coherence between traditional and conversational interfaces. The current UIs will continue to exist and shouldn’t be considered separately from the more innovative, more conversational evolutions. Consistency in the overall journey must always be acknowledged. And the whole experience must be seen more as a kind of interaction rather than a traditional transaction.

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It’s really important to deal with these problems as chatbots and language assistants are there to enhance experiences, not to resolve specific pain points. But if all these potential issues are considered, we believe every successful future-proof customer journey and UX strategy should call upon the power of CUIs to make a truly unique, differentiated and above all user-centric brand experience. 

We will be happy to advise you whether your organisation would benefit from the use of CUIs and where they would be most effective. We also can implement CUIs into your current customer journeys to create an overall tailor-made experience adapted to your brand and your target group.

It’s really important to deal with these problems as chatbots and language assistants are there to enhance experiences, not to resolve specific pain points. But if all these potential issues are considered, we believe every successful future-proof customer journey and UX strategy should call upon the power of CUIs to make a truly unique, differentiated and above all user-centric brand experience. 

We also act according to this principle within our own ENNO studio brand. On our website, you will find an example of how we make our services easily understood. Our chatbot helps you to get a quick overview of what we offer and how we can help you with your problems.

We will be happy to advise you whether your organisation would benefit from the use of CUIs and where they would be most effective. We also can implement CUIs into your current customer journeys to create an overall tailor-made experience adapted to your brand and your target group.

Coming Soon!

We are still working on the website, if you want to have more information regarding this project, drop us an email.