Q&A Blog

Ask me anything, I'll answer.

@ImINaBAR asks...

Q:
How do you test your ideas and then actual implementations of a UX redesign (and copy) or you just launch blindly? I'm specially interested when there's not a huge budget for UX.

A: 
Very few of the projects I’ve been involved with have actually had designated budget for pre-launch user testing or even research. But I think it would be a reach to say I’ve ever just launched a product “blindly.” As a UX practitioner, it is my responsibility to do my research, interview stakeholders, ask the right questions to understand what it is I’m trying to solve, identify a focused target user group, understand who “I” am (as a brand, product, etc.) and have a really defined idea of what it is I am asking of or trying to provide to the end user. If I’ve done my job well at any level, a “blind” guess is usually fairly well informed by all the steps it took to get to any realized idea. Getting something out that has been thoughtfully crafted will turn feedback very quickly, from which we learn, re-work and throw it out again. Sometimes the live product out in the real world IS the test, especially if we aren’t able to budget for user tests on prototypes or early concepts. There are a lot of quick and easy testing methods that can get you informed feedback, which typically include simply getting the idea away from you - the designer/developer - and getting it in front of people you can observe whether that’s a few people from another department down the hall or asking someone at another table during lunch if they have 5 minutes to look at a thing you’re working on, and tell you what they think. Beta testing is a real version of the product that openly solicits user feedback from a targeted group, this is an incredibly useful approach. 

All that said, it is hugely important to distinguish acute awareness between what I’ve just described and simply churning things out quickly that may be poorly executed or not well-thought. A responsible UX practitioner has done a lot of thinking, asking, researching and iterating to get to a point where anything released is not careless or blind. A careless release can risk creating a very negative experience that may scare people away from trusting you with a second chance, no matter how improved it may be down the road. 

You will always learn from watching ACTUAL humans interacting with your ideas and if you genuinely understand experience design, your initial launch really is far from blind. Budget or no budget, asking people around you for insight and feedback will give you a lot of information about the path you’re going down.

Hope this helps at some level. If you have more questions about specific UX methods (like card sorting, interviewing, site maps, sketches, etc.) we can definitely go further down those roads.

Thanks for your question!