The most common form of evaluating is doing a user test. Testing is a very important step in the design process because it allows us to evaluate a product, service, feature or prototype with real users. Users tests are usually built around tasks which users are asked to perform to the best of their ability, while observers watch, listen and take notes.
User tests consist of the following parts, recruiting participants, creating a session guide (the protocol), performing the study, analyzing the results, and producing findings & recommendations.
In order to get the best results, the users must be representative of the actual user base of the product or service.
In addition, the test must be impartial and repeatable so that a user’s actions are not influenced in ways that lead to a bias result.
Testing can be done at almost any stage of the design process. It’s not imperative to wait until a functional prototype s ready, you can start testing with ideas on paper. The sooner in the design process that testing is done, the less work has to be redone later. Ideally, multiple tests should be performed throughout a project lifecycle.
Expert reviews are also a good way to evaluate a product. During an expert a review a third-party person outside of the core team, usually a UX expert, evaluates the product feature or service. The expert uses known best practices and validated heuristics as a baseline for evaluation and delivers a findings and recommendations report.
A typical user test takes 3 weeks to a month.
Expert reviews usually take a few days to a week.
User test provide recruitment screener, session guide, participant profiles, topline report, and final report.
Expert reviews include evaluation plan, final report.