User Experience Testing For The Future

June 29 2007 and the first ever iPhone was released by Apple to an unsuspecting world and suddenly overnight the way we interacted with each other, businesses and customers changed forever.

Fast forward to today and there are now a generation of individuals who have grown up with this technology: they expect their banking online; they purchase their shopping via apps; communicate with their friends around the world instantly; and these individuals have plenty of money.

For most companies today, this is a headache. They have to make sure their applications offer the same user experience for:
  • Millennials who like to use A.I. and Voice commands and expect their phones and tablets to know what they want and when they want it.
  • 30 to 50 year olds, who still avoid A.I. and Voice commands. Individuals that still click around the UI and type.
  • Over 60s who have money to spend but may struggle with the customer experience on a smartphone and use laptops to access services.
  • In the next 5-10 years, the way I.T. and technology will interact with our lives is going to change radically and we, as testers, must be ready for this.

User Experience TestingTesting must own and drive the conversation about the User Experience in those very early design meetings. We represent our customers’ customer. Yes, there is still a need for all the traditional system, integration and non-functional testing activities that need to be carried out, but what use is a technically perfect (or near perfect) application, that people hate to use?

I was talking to friends the other day about the number of people who try a new product or app. If their experience is poor, they will actively avoid using it – not just once or twice, but in some case for years!

This gives testers the impetus to:
  • Actively engage with a cross section of customers discussing how they would use an application or product early on.
  • Run continuous customer testing focus groups throughout the development process, which improves the quality of the end product.

Testing teams now, and in the future must, be made up of technically-minded individuals but the customer experience focus is now more important than ever!