Most developers and designers want as much real-world user feedback as possible before releasing a new product or website to ensure that potential customers have the best possible experience on their website or app. At the end of the day, every designer wants the largest number of conversions and the fewest number of visitors abandoning the site due to a poor user experience. What good is it to achieve continuous delivery if your product isn’t in demand in the first place?

However, user testing can be costly. It’s not uncommon for some user testing companies to charge $15,000 for qualitative input from a small group of consumers.

That is a budget that very few companies or designers have. However, with the correct knowledge and a few tricks up your sleeve, you can conduct efficient user testing on a fraction of that amount. Here’s how to do it.

Know your sample size

You can pay per tester in typical user testing. While many people believe that they need dozens or even hundreds of individuals to test their website in order to acquire enough qualitative feedback to provide insight, you only need six people to do so at once.

That’s enough to provide detailed feedback and insight into where individuals find delight and where they find flaws when using your website or app.

Know your ‘red routes’

There are dozens of distinct train routes on the London Underground, but the most essential ones are highlighted in red. Similarly, in online or app design, “red routes” are the most important or common actions that are the most vital on your website. These could include places like signup, checkout, onboarding, and so on.

While you want people to test all components of your website in the end, if you’re on a budget, knowing the difference between the red routes and the less-visible parts of your site might help you decide what you want to test with users.

Time is money: Keep tests under 15 minutes

User testing films can last up to 45 minutes, giving you an overview of how people are testing every part of your website. It would take an entire workday to watch ten full user-testing videos.

After a few films, it becomes evident what’s working well and where viewers are getting confused, indicating that the design has to be improved. Focus your user testing on a few essential topics and finish them within the time allotted.

Go remote to save money

It’s fantastic to have real-life testers come to your office so you can watch them go through your website in person, but it’s also incredibly pricey. It’s also unrealistic to fly people in from all over the world to test in person if you decide to go international.

Today, you can obtain good, in-depth usability testing for around $20 per person using remote usability testing providers. Utilize it to your benefit.

Test, iterate, repeat

After you’ve completed your initial round of testing, received comments, and made adjustments, you’ll probably want to repeat the process to test the new modifications before going live.

User testing in groups of six is useful because it provides enough information to justify returning to the drawing board and making adjustments. When it’s evident that the difficulties raised in the first round of six can be addressed, take their feedback, make improvements based on it, and do a second round of testing with only three or four individuals.

This allows you to ensure that the design flaws from the first round have been addressed. Repeat the process to ensure that those issues, as well as anything else you’ve discovered, have been resolved.

No budget? Here’s what you can do for free

Even $200 can be a reach for a solitary entrepreneur constructing a modest five-page website on a platform like Squarespace or Wix. However, after investing time, effort, and money into developing a website, you must have it thoroughly tested by real people before launching it.

You may not notice the broken links, spelling issues, and faulty graphics that will drive your potential clients away, especially if this is your first venture. If you want your website to be productive, even sitting with (or virtually exhibiting) a few friends or family members while they travel through it—and asking them to perform specific actions or provide honest feedback—is vital.

Effectiveness is what matters

Is it possible to conduct successful user testing on a shoestring budget? Absolutely. Start with a small group of testers, iterate, and implement the necessary modifications.

Is this strategy as thorough as what you’d receive with a larger budget? A better question to ask is what is good enough for the needs and budget of your organization. If you follow the methods above, you’ll be well on your way to conducting comprehensive, in-depth usability testing on a budget.

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