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When to perform UX design test?

By Vivek Mannotra, Community Contributor -

Table of Contents

User experience (UX) design testing refers to a set of techniques and activities related to evaluating a software application’s visual and functional experience. The design-thinking principles teach us that all design processes should start with the user’s needs.

A well-designed application does more than merely serve a functional end goal. In the market for software applications, good user engagement is highly desired.

In this guide, let’s learn why proper UX design implementation is among the most critical factors, establishing the importance of usability testing.

9 Key Parameters for Evaluating UX Design

Different use-cases might need different evaluation criteria depending on the application. Here is a list of 9 key parameters considered for UX:

1. Page Load

Mobile page speed is essential in determining the user experience. It has been scientifically proven that the average human attention span is less than 8 seconds. A slow loading page will result in the user losing interest and moving on to something else. 

However, with BrowserStack SpeedLab, it’s easier and more efficient to analyze page load and overall website performance. 

Page Load timePage Load

Try SpeedLab for Free

2. Content Quality

The quality of the content on a page is vital in determining the user experience. The content aligned for the UX should be:

  • Relevant to the business and of good quality
  • Visually appealing to the users and visitors
  • Self-explanatory, which streamlines the user journey

3. Design Aesthetic

The application’s overall design aesthetic and feel are essential in determining the UX through the page layout, color schemes, fonts, icons, etc. The design should maintain consistency throughout the application. 

Design Aesthetic

Sample workflow design in Figma

A well-planned website design checklist that can execute your end-to-end design strategy will help users connect intuitively.

4. Functionality

Needless to say, the application has to perform the core functionality seamlessly. Slow, inconsistent, or defective functionality can lead to disappointment in users and loss of business. 

This is why a rigorous testing schedule during and after the development of an application is so critical.

5. Navigability

Applications usually consist of many modules divided into pages that are interlinked with proper context. A key factor is ensuring the navigability works as expected, which means ensuring the links are visible to the user and routing works as expected.

6. Responsiveness

Modern applications are developed, keeping the wide range of mobile devices available in the market into consideration. Responsiveness refers to building software applications that can adapt to a particular screen size or a device and adjust the components accordingly. 

It is one of the core elements of modern web design to ensure a mobile-first design that is highly responsive. 

Responsiveness Test

Designers and devs can quickly run a test on their UX  design to optimize the website for different devices.

Test UX for Responsiveness

7. Accessibility

Modern applications need to have key accessibility features built into the structure to ensure that people with special abilities can interact with and use the application intuitively using screen readers, speed recognition, magnification, and special keyboards.  

Hence, conducting accessibility testing ties into the overall importance of usability testing. 

8. Searchability/SEO

Optimizing the UX to be discovered by the search algorithms is an important criterion to ensure user discoverability. Product designers should be aware of Google’s obsession with speed and its preference for products and services adhering to highly optimized design elements. 

9. User-Friendliness

Many applications try to cramp functionalities to enhance the chances of users’ engagement but compromise the overall user experience. 

Ensuring user-friendliness is a top priority because users will simply not engage with an application that is too complex or intimidating. The importance of usability testing is to point out such non-intuitive UX elements. 

The Right Time for Testing UX Design

Right time for UX Design Testing

Source

In SDLC, depending on the method being followed, there are several points at which implementing user experience design tests make sense:

Evaluating Prototypes

Most popular UX design tools like Adobe XD, InVision, Figma, etc. provide the functionality to create prototypes from page and workflow designs. This is a stage where the initial concept is being explored; hence performing user experience and usability tests at this stage can be beneficial.

  • Page design and layouts are not fully mature, but evaluating the initial versions with real user feedback can streamline the design effort.
  • Navigation and workflows are key moving parts of the application design. Figuring out the CTA placement help in guiding the user intuitively. 
  • Content and component placement can also be experimented with at this point because there is no real data. Different variations can help contrast the pros and cons of varying UX layouts.
  • In some cases, testing at this step can help validate the application if the justification is not clear beforehand. 
  • According to design thinking in software testing, incorporating the users’ perspective before completing the design process is a healthy approach.

Stages in UX Design Prototype

Stages in UX Design Prototyping

During Development 

Once the software development process has started, it becomes important to ensure that components and features are implemented as per the specifications. During development, the testing process will broaden to include different types of testing. 

It is a good practice to continue the UX testing with all the other tests.

  • Visual regression testing to ensure consistency in existing features can be implemented at this point. As more and more features are developed to completion, the scope of regression tests will increase, ensuring that the core functionality remains stable at all points.
  • It is impossible to take user feedback on every single feature implemented and integrated into the code base. So having a visual testing workflow implemented could help prevent unnecessary back-and-forth.
  • Implementing tests for responsiveness and device adaptability at this stage can help ensure compliance from the beginning, saving time and effort.

Try Visual Regression Testing

 User Acceptance

Once a stable app version has been developed, user acceptance testing is carried out to assess acceptance by the real user. It usually involves a QA team with a cohort of representative users.

  • It involves validating the core application design through functional testing in the hands of the user. It is commonly observed that first-time users from outside the design, development, and testing teams can shed light on previously ignored aspects. 
  • Identifying any missing feature or bad component design by analyzing the user journeys and reactions to various UX components is also important. 
  • While testing real user conditions, intuitive use of gestures, input/output modes, and native features like cameras, mics, geolocation, etc. play an essential role in a smooth UX. 

Maintenance 

In a scenario where an application receives updates periodically, it is important to build a strong testing flow to complement the development activity.

  • Elaborate regression testing to ensure previously working features are not affected by new developments. 
  • Checking for redundancies, overlaps, and performance issues along with functional and visual comparisons.
  • Having the right content delivered/updated in the application. 
  • Static and dynamic content inside the application must be kept relevant through periodic assessment and updates.
  • In case a core workflow receives significant updates, a deeper impact analysis should follow.

Key Takeaways

Keeping an active UX design test routine with other forms of testing is important as it helps find gaps in the application design itself, making it even more comprehensive. When developers implement a workflow design into the app’s codebase, it is always more challenging to change things afterward, so having a sharp eye for design-level updates will help teams avoid recursive re-writing of the application components.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VKfukSgRCmQ

Using BrowserStack testing infrastructure, you can use a real-device cloud in your design and UX testing scenarios.  It will alleviate the time-consuming process of visual testing and reduce the QA testing maneuvers. 

While UX design testing is key for establishing the importance of usability testing, BrowserStack is paramount to ensure efficient quality checks with every change.

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