Web Usability Blog

Cost effective ways to get user feedback in lockdown

Posted by Dr Sarah Burton Taylor on Apr 30, 2020 10:41:54 AM

A recent study by Econsultancy, which collected data from 849 UK brands, found that 90% of organisations are delaying or reviewing their budget commitments as a result of the pandemic.

Graph highlighting the changing organisational priorities as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Includes a rise to 90% from 60% of organisations delaying or reviewing budget commitment.s

Source: https://www.marketingweek.com/marketing-campaigns-delays-rise-coronavirus/

In addition, 81% of organisations say tech or infrastructure spending has been suspended due to the spread of the virus. A similar survey conducted just three weeks ago found this to be only 43%.

What is clear is how quickly and devastatingly COVID-19 is affecting businesses and the difficult strategic and budgetary decisions that they are having to make.

What is also clear, as budgets dwindle and strategic priorities change, is that marketing campaigns and digital initiatives need to be more effective than ever. To get these right first time, it is important to involve your users at an early stage and test new ideas prior to launch, even when time is tight.

DIY user testing

You don’t need large sample sizes and complex technology to undertake your own user testing.

By reaching out to your existing audiences, you can gain valuable feedback on new digital initiatives.

Using video conferencing and screen sharing, you can observe real users working through your new online process or searching for digital content and ask them probing questions as they go…

  • What is your reaction to this page?
  • Are you getting all the information you need?
  • How do you feel about the design and layout of the page?
  • How is this website making your feel about our brand?

Feedback from just 3-5 users will provide you with consistent insights on where there are issues in your digital process or online campaign and how you can resolve these prior to going live.

This way you will avoid any of the teething problems when you do launch, ensuring budget and time are not wasted, and brand reputation isn’t dented.

‘Quick and dirty’ user testing

If you feel some specialist support would be helpful, again it doesn’t need to be an expensive or lengthy process.

‘Quick and dirty’ testing is a great way to get high-quality feedback, quickly. Here’s why…

  • You can get the right testers: testers are recruited that accurately meet your user profiles – after all, there is no point testing your digital assets with the wrong people
  • Sessions are moderated: this keeps testers focused on the task in hand and allows us to ask ‘why’ at the right moments
  • Early stage prototypes can be tested: that testers cannot use without guidance
  • You can observe in real time: via a live video link, allowing you to shape the research between sessions

And most importantly, it can all be done right now, in spite of the challenging lockdown conditions we are all facing, thanks to the ability to conduct testing remotely. We are undertaking a range of usability testing projects at the moment using remote techniques, which clients say are giving them the same high-quality insight they would get through face-to-face sessions. Read more about the how UX research continues in quarantine.

Tightening budgets and shifting priorities could be opportunity to fine tune marketing campaigns and digital processes to be even more effective. The best way to achieve this is by testing with users before launch to ensure messaging resonates and functionality is usable.  

Read more: How COVID-19 is causing accelerated digital transformation

Topics: Usability Testing, Coronavirus

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