A lot of companies refrain to evaluate their products on users before launching them; it’s either too expensive or it takes too much time. However user testing can save you several qualitative and quantitative costs. Indeed, if a company release a product that could have been improved, it will cost additional spending sooner or later. These costs could be technical element needing to be rectified, elements to add, or the trust of the consumer.
Nowaday, customer satisfaction is the lifeblood of any business. Their complacency and needs have an impact on every aspect of your business from product development to content marketing, to sales. Therefore, the benefits of user testing are undeniable.
There are several user testing options available: you can either plan a testing phase during your product development process, or you can ask the help of professionals such as StarDust Testing company, which is dedicated to help you improve your products by providing quality assurance services. StarDust Testing has agreed to enlighten people about its activities and the impact of user testing on digital companies.
Who is Stardust Testing? Tell us about your story, your mission and the people behind it.
StarDust is a testing agency specialized in user acceptance testing (validation before product launch).
Founded by François Joseph, Delphine & Guillaume, StarDust helps companies deliver well-functioning and high performing apps, websites and other digital products. Our main motivation is a good user experience – as we all know how frustrating it can be if app crashes or one cannot finish an online purchase because of an error of the site.
What is your target market and what type of context?
StarDust’s target market is the digital industry; every developed product needs testing. With the digital transformation, digital solutions are in every industry nowadays.
With the expansion of the digital world, we help our clients validate newly developed products before the product launch or a new release or to identify potential improvements for products that are already on the market.
With whom and for whom have you worked with?
We work with clients from various industries including major brands in retail, finance, gaming and transportation industry but also start-ups and app developers.
Furthermore, we have partnerships with digital agencies that want to ensure the quality of the products they deliver to their clients as well as with other testing companies to educate about the challenges of delivering a seamless user experience.
What are the challenges that user testing brings forward?
Some challenges that come from exploring the product from a user’s perspective (external view): does the product comply with the user’s expectations? Does it work faultlessly on the users’ devices? It can also be challenging to identify areas and the steps to test such as defining the critical user path.
Lastly, user testing requires you to set priorities and to report detected bugs in a way that facilitates bug-fixing.
What are the signs that may bring a company to consider a user testing process?
Every company should have a phase in their development process dedicated to test their product from a user’s perspective. Simply put, user testing helps determine you whether a product is ready to be launched or, in case it is on the market already, what can be improved to provide a better user experience.
On the contrary, a low conversion rate, bad customer reviews/app rating or low user retention can be a sign of poor quality. Identifying weak points through user testing is a very efficient option
What immediate actions can be taken by any company to face these challenges? Mid and long-term actions?
Treat user testing as an integral part of the project development process and include some time for bug-fixing and improvements.
If deadlines are too tight, testing phases usually get shorter and less attention is paid to product quality which can affect the user experience.
Another action is to develop a testing strategy considering the fragmentation of the mobile market (diversity of smartphones, & tablets), the target user group, and the availability of testing resources. For example, the following questions may need to be addressed: does it make sense to invest in buying new test devices? What tests will be automated, which will be tested manually? Do we have testers to carry out the tests we plan?
At what moment is it necessary to look for a specialized firm, such as Stardust? Where does Stardust’s plus-value lie?
It is necessary to look for a specialized firm if there are not enough or not the right internal resources to cover this area. It is important to note that developers should not be testers!
Reviewing one’s own work can lead to biased results. Moreover, many companies do not have constant need for testing but rather punctual needs depending on frequency and number of digital projects. In these cases, it is often too costly to hire full-time tester.
There is also the question of availability of test devices as there are quite literally thousands of devices that a company’s customers may be using. Additionally, sometimes deadlines are too tight to cover user testing with internal resources.
StarDust can also help clients get an external view on the product to minimize risks and to get feedback from people that are not involved in the development process. By outsourcing, clients can concentrate on the core business as outsourcing QA is a time saving option. Lastly, if the company has little or no experience with testing, QA specialists can help educate about important aspects of testing and help develop a testing strategy that fits the development process.
What are the user testing steps that may lead to success?
The steps really depend on the product; overall all functionalities that have been developed should be tested before launching the product.
Tests should be done from a user perspective: what does the user want to do with the product, how will he use it? This process requires detailed documentation of testing steps and complete description for bugs, which allows developers to reproduce the testing steps facilitating the process of bug-fixing.
For complex projects, it makes sense to write a test plan defining each testing step to ensure each functionality will be tested
What timeframe is required to ensure the maximum results?
The timeframe depends on the product and the time spent to develop the product; usually, the more time spent and the more complex a product the more time should be anticipated for testing.
What’s more, testing often takes only a few days, but there should be time set aside to fix reported bugs nonetheless.
How can we measure the success of this kind of actions? What can be the expected results?
The overall goal of testing is to ensure the quality of product and to minimize the risk of the product launch. Products with good quality will have a positive impact on the customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as on the brand image.
In the digital world, the first impression is crucial as there are very few chances to win back user confidence. To add, depending on the type of product, results can be a higher conversion rate, user loyalty, positive customer feedback, or high rating in app stores.