UserTesting Review: Learn From Real User Feedback

Professionals use testing companies to help them evaluate prototypes during product development and before a product launch. UserTesting is one of the most popular options out there. It can help you achieve your company's goals by understanding more about what works and what doesn't.

What is UserTesting?

UserTesting handles product and app testing from start to finish. Technically a platform for getting customer feedback, companies use it to get feedback during product development and to see how users interact with your designs so that you can identify any coding issues or opportunities to improve. UserTesting also has applications in market testing.

Why It Exists

When companies need to test the usability of products and services like apps or programs, they have two choices: assemble a collection of representative consumers and conduct their own prototype tests or hire a company, like UserTesting, to handle everything for them. The first scenario requires access to members of the right demographic, distribution of the prototype, and tools for analysis as well as time to plan and orchestrate the testing. The latter scenario is easy. The testing company handles everything.

How UserTesting Works

UserTesting can help you create a panel of testers according to your desired demographics or you can invite your own customers depending on the plan you purchase. You specify which tasks you want them to perform. These individuals use your prototype and record videos of themselves interacting with the product or participate in live interviews with your team.

They are asked to think aloud, so you receive a dialogue of their thoughts as they navigate your prototype. You receive videos and audio recordings as well as transcripts of the interactions so you can look for themes or record highlight reels you can use in collaboration. UserTesting also records metrics of the prototype testing so you have quantifiable data about the trial.

While UserTesting is primarily devoted to testing websites and mobile apps, it does have other applications. You can use UserTesting to test your ordering system, your omnichannel customer experience, or product unboxing.

What to Love About UserTesting

UserTesting simplifies the prototype testing process. For some companies, it is a perfect fit that streamlines their product development and uncovers insights.

Here are some of the pros of choosing UserTesting:

Established Panel of Testers 

When you choose UserTesting, you get access to a collection of established product testers. You don't have to worry about recruiting participants for testing your prototype. UserTesting screens all testers by demographics and quality of review provided and then offers those individuals the opportunity to demo your offering.

Quick Results

Because UserTesting already has a base of product testers, getting your test up and running -- and getting results -- can come much more quickly than through conventional methods. Simple tests could start delivering results within an hour

Quantifiable and Qualitative Data

UserTesting is also a strong offering because it provides both qualitative and quantitative data. Prototype tests are recorded for video and audio, there are transcripts for every interaction, and the UserTesting platform automatically collects data on user interactions. In the end, this produces numerical data as well as recordings of real people that you can use to better understand your product offering.

Individual Tests Instead of Panels

There is strength in the way UserTesting works as well. Many companies invite a group of people into a room and ask them to use the prototype, then they ask for input on how they liked the product. However, those panels can be pure chaos. Not everyone gets a chance to speak and the ones that do could find their perceptions colored by what the others say. On the other hand, individual testing produces clear results.

What UserTesting Could Improve

UserTesting has many positives, but your experience may vary. Make sure that you understand some of the potential drawbacks with the service before you commit.

Testing Participants

UserTesting hires freelancers and work-from-home enthusiasts to participate in its tests. The company screens those people to see which products they can test and then has them upload videos of their user experience. In some cases, these testers may also be contracted to have a live conversation with the testing company. The problem with this is that testers may not always be as representative of your target audience as you may like. There are complaints that some testers are less thorough than others. UserTesting reviewers may also be more tech-savvy than your intended user -- after all, they are "professional testers." While they will meet your demographic requirements, the appropriateness of these testers will depend on your product.

The UserTesting Platform

The UserTesting platform is robust, but it still may have difficulties playing nice with your program. Those issues could alter the user experience. Some apps and programs work perfectly, but difficulties are not uncommon.

Final Word on UserTesting

UserTesting is a robust product that can give you test results easily and quickly, and it's worth requesting a trial to see if it meets your team's needs. There's a reason why companies like Adobe, Zillow, and Vistaprint have turned to UserTesting to create great experiences for customers. You can check out even more UserTesting case studies to get a better idea of how the platform could help improve your company's bottom line.

Have you used UserTesting? Let us know in the comments what you loved and what you didn't like.