How to unbiased test your product

    It often happens that developers, creating a particular product, cease to be critical of it. After all, putting so much effort, time, imagination, finding elegant solutions for so many problems, it is very easy to stop being objective in relation to your offspring. This leads to the fact that a significant part of the development process takes place in isolation, since it is difficult for developers to separate their vision of the product, their feelings for it from users and the real situation on the market.

    This is a natural situation, we are all human. We tend to become attached to what we give so many resources to. But this subjectivity can do a very poor job when development reaches the testing stage, which is vital for shaping the look of a product. It is an unbiased testing that gives developers a chance to get rid of pink glasses and take a sober look at the result of their labors. In this case, there is a chance that it will be possible to correct errors and shortcomings before the start of sales, saving yourself from failure. But for this you need to conduct an unbiased testing of prototypes. And this implies not only getting the right response, but also understanding how best to make the necessary changes to the product.

    Try to abstract as much as possible from emotions

    If developers are not able to separate emotions from their product, then this inevitably affects their own perceptions. And in this case, you do not need to try to sell the product, since the creators incorrectly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their goods. You must first collect as unbiased opinions from the outside as possible.

    No need to look for people who will share the developers view on the product. After all, our goal is to predict whether it will bring enough profit. You need to ask yourself questions: “How long will it take to turn an idea into a more or less profitable product? How to achieve this? ” Answers will help during testing to concentrate on really important things.

    Go out into the fields

    Of course, laboratory testing of prototypes and obtaining feedback within the company is an important and necessary thing. But this is only part of the testing phase. To more fully and more accurately understand the prospects of the product on the market, developers need to come to users. It is necessary to collect feedback from the outside, from real potential consumers. And at the same time, you need to carefully listen to what they will say to you. For example, if you are creating an application for a hotel chain, then you need to visit different branches and observe visitors in order to understand how your product can help and make their stay at the hotel more enjoyable.

    You need to try to find out what needs the category of users that your product is designed for. What information and what functions do they need, in what situations, in what form, how fast? As much as possible register user behavior, ways to use your product; what difficulties do they encounter at the same time, what emotions do they show in certain cases? An analysis of all this information will help you polish and polish your application or device.

    Gather reviews as wide as possible

    If you focus on the opinions of people who are likely to want to use your product later, you will realize the functions and characteristics expected by them. But at the same time, you can lose sight of or neglect some other properties that could be important for many other potential users. That is why during testing it is necessary to analyze the reviews that are as polar as possible in their assessment.

    What is the social portrait of those who do not want to use your product now? What keeps them from doing this, prevents them? For example, if you are creating an application for some social events, then be sure to test it on those who never attend such events. Why aren't they there? What in your product could still help them go there?

    This process can be quite painful, especially if you take negative opinions too close to your heart. But based on the data you can make your product better, more popular, more profitable. The more diverse opinions you collect, the more likely you will be able to find yourself access to new markets, or create additional channels for profit.

    Tune in empathy

    Testing the prototype can be seen as a manifestation of empathy. It helps a lot when communicating with a wide variety of people, it allows you to find out what is important for them, what they had difficulty using your product with. Psychologically, it’s not easy for many of us to tune in to the feelings of strangers and keep up the conversation in a way that is comfortable for them. But it is always better to ask a person directly than to convince yourself that you already know what he thinks and feels. So take your prototype, gather more users, tell them: “Here is our new product. Yes, it’s an electronic bottle opener, but try it all and tell us what you think about it. ” And then carefully watch, listen and record.

    Try to benefit from any review.

    It is important to find the reason that prompted the user to give positive or negative feedback. What questions do users ask? What moments do they immediately grasp, and understanding what things makes them difficult? Understanding all this points to the strengths and weaknesses of the product, helps to develop useful and popular functionality.

    Even if the user is silent during testing, one should not be afraid to communicate with him. Perhaps a person is simply uncomfortable, and this is expressed in restraint. Ask leading questions, maybe your product is the cause of discomfort. Let's say a person is satisfied with how your product works, but he just doesn’t like the feeling that he has when using it. And this clearly does not encourage the user to purchase in the future.

    Try to formulate questions in such a way that they do not need to be answered in a lengthy, polysyllabic way. The shorter the answer, the easier it is for a person. Users are not experts, not programmers and not designers, they will not always be able to describe their thoughts and feelings to you in appropriate terms. At the same time, it is very important to evaluate the first, overt reaction, when a person does not have to look for the right words to express his impression. The task of prototyping is to create a minimally functional version of the product, and the very first user feedback helps to find the way for the further development of your brainchild.

    Do not complicate

    It is not uncommon for a product with a much less broad functionality than originally intended to enter the market. When in the process of development, the creators give up some opportunities and concentrate on what is most important for users, often this makes the product more valuable and more profitable.

    Testing should not be difficult or stressful. With the right approach, you can get results that will help to make not just a popular product, but significantly overtaking competitors. Of course, it is likely that during testing your team will not find any flaws at all, then you are very lucky and the first time you hit the bull's eye. But usually this is not so. Often our feelings distort our perception of the product, and testing of prototypes allows us to detect this in time and not to make fatal mistakes, but at the same time to correct already made ones. So don’t worry when some errors are discovered during the tests - this is not a failure, it means that your team is creating a successful product.

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