The best testing methods vary depending on the type of product under test (consumer-facing application, enterprise-level software, entertainment website, etc.). Some of the most common testing methods include:
This testing method is generally performed at the early stages of development and consists of exploring peer and competitor websites, applications, and products to analyze which elements are most common and how they are placed. This method may give a broader understanding of the best practices in a specific field or for a certain type of product or website.
Comparative (A/B) testing
There are two approaches to comparative testing. The first aims at comparing two or more ready-made design outlays to decide which best suits the objectives. The second is to compare the existing or planned design to competitors’ designs to figure out which elements can be added or discarded.
Hallway (guerilla) testing
The essence of such testing is to interview random people in public places with high foot traffic. It is assumed that these will be people with different backgrounds and different levels of technical skill, which can potentially reveal the flaws of the product in a variety of non-repetitive areas.
This method does not require any specific technology or skill. It is mostly used during the prototyping stage to define the direction early on. However, it can be time-consuming and sometimes not quite representative of your user depending on the product under test.
The main characteristic and benefit of this type of usability testing is outsourcing your testing efforts anywhere in the world. The main condition for such testing to be effective and insightful is that users should not have any prior experience with your product.
There are two ways you can conduct remote testing: a moderated and an unmoderated approach. The difference is the presence of a moderator to guide the user through the product and note the difficulties encountered. Without a moderator, a user explores a product on their own and documents their user journey experience in detail. As a result, the engineering team has invaluable first-hand data on how their target audience responds to their product.