UX Newsletter: Testing 1, 2, 3
“Why don’t we just test it?”
We’ve all been there. We’re in a meeting where no one can agree on a solution, maybe because no one loves the proposed solution – or because we all want to die on different hills of solutions. Either way, it’s an honest reflex.
Testing is one of the most powerful tools in iterating and enhancing our digital products. But when overused, or used improperly we can waste time and resources on a solution not worth testing and miss out on a test that could have made a real impact.
In this newsletter we’ll dive into the many misconceptions and pitfalls around quantitative testing, what it is at its core, how best to utilize it and how data has to partner with qualitative and human analysis to truly help find viable and effective solutions.
Show me the numbers
It’s hard to argue with numbers, but how do you quantify a fact? Pamela Pavliscak in Six Myths about Data-Driven Design, breaks down a few stereotypes around data driven design choices and emphasizes that while data is an imperative part of the process, it is not the final design decision maker.
Numbers + Gut = <3
Understanding the data is just one side of the coin according to Dave Lippman of eBay. The other side? Loving what you’re creating. In this clip from High Resolution’s interview: “Designing with data vs. intuition” Dave explains, if you would stand behind a feature and data supports it, it’s probably worth building.
Faster and wiser
In the article “To Move Faster, Experiment More“, we learn that in testing, it’s not a matter of winning and losing, but more a practice of winning and learning. Every test reveals current truths that require analysis, interpretation and vetting. Just because a test “fails” or “loses” doesn’t mean we can’t extrapolate from that test or that we wasted time. As Jon Noronha of Optimizely puts it, “slowness is a product of fear, and fear is a product of uncertainty.” In this article, we’ll learn all the ways we can increase our agility and velocity via testing.
The “It couple” of building
“Can’t decide how you truly feel about the future? Have Data and A/B Test take the decision out of your hands.” As VP of Product Design at Facebook, Julie Zhuo is no stranger to quantitative testing as she explains in The Agony and Ecstasy of Building with Data. As such, she knows all the do’s and don’ts for effectively utilizing testing as a tool instead of an overused crutch. In this article, she’ll explain how we can avoid blindly testing and instead use it as the power it’s meant to be.
Featured UX Project
The Design Genome Project
What powers great design?
We studied design-forward companies and found one thing in common: they all do it differently. Organizational structure, design process, tool stacks, and more play a significant role in how they achieve competitive advantage through design.
Looking for more?
The UX Newsletter is a monthly email that serves up my favorite UX articles. Each month I feature 4 articles or videos and share great tutorials for those interested in learning more.
Feature Image is a collage sourced from various images found on these Pinterest Boards.