What's Your Problem?

How Do I design a successful user test?

Here at Highway1, we cannot stress enough the importance of user testing. And the earlier you start testing, the more time, money, and heartache it will save you in the long run.

Knowing this, we asked Highway1 mentor Jennifer McCormick, founder and principal researcher at User Lens, the following question:

How do I design a successful user test within the limited resources of a startup?

Jennifer’s answer:

Step 1. Identify your best guess potential user base. When envisioning your potential customers, focus on human behaviors and needs, such as a person’s desire to monitor their health.

Step 2. Craft a combination of physical props and screenshots or storyboards (you can use sketches!) to represent your product experience. Get creative, and use the rough hardware and images to represent what you have now, as well your future vision. The images and storyboards make it real for users.

Step 3. Find and meet with a handful of your users to gather their feedback on your product vision. Provide a brief, high-level product description (not a pitch!).

“Ask users to show you, not tell you, how they would react to the product. Have them try to use it on their own and explain why they're interacting with the product the way they are. ”

Jennifer McCormick, Mentor - User Lens

Step 4. Record and consider the user feedback. Try to put yourself in your users’ shoes. Be open to collecting and understanding what about your product resonates with users and what’s unclear or confusing. Use this data to iterate your product to be more compelling, clear, and valuable to your users.

Good luck and happy product testing!

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Highway1, a division of PCH, is the premier hardware startup accelerator, located in San Francisco. We look for great hardware startups, with an exciting business idea and a compelling prototype. We help you design products that deliver real value to customers, that are delightful to use and that can be manufactured at scale.
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