Why Testing Matters
First and foremost, testing matters because we don’t know anything
. OK, I’m exaggerating but we really don’t know much. We don’t know if we really are solving a real problem and how relevant it is. We mitigate this risk with Inspiration
activities. Then we don’t know if we have the optimal solution in terms of usability and feasibility. And we don’t what other problems our new solution brings with itself, either. Most of what we think we know are nothing but assumptions
. Testing is the best way to learn things and validate assumptions since there are no books written about our very own problems.
-Can’t we just look what’s out there and improve it? Wouldn’t this automagically make us better?
The reasoning behind this common idea stems from the fact that most products in the same domain look quite similar. An e-commerce site requires listing, product detail and checkout at a minimum. Or photo sharing across different social media platforms do not differ significantly. Right? Wrong!
They are similar on a very high level but the actual experience happens in details. We can’t design great products if we are not diving deep into the details. Why? Because as the famous designer of famous (I used famous twice. This should increase credibility.) Eames Chairs Charles Eames puts it: The details are not the details. They make the design.
The Almighty Bullet Points
- There is no such thing as bad testing. The worst testing is better than no testing.
We don’t need the best tools and process and staff to test. We just need to; keep our ears (eyes and minds) open, try not to manipulate, be ok with some quietness and ask why.
- Open mindedness deserves it’s own bullet point. We shouldn’t try to prove we are right because, well, we will. Wait! That doesn’t make sense! Actually, it does because we see what we want to see. How can we overcome this? By trying to prove ourself wrong. If we can’t then we must be right.
- We must accept the fact that testing alone can’t guarantee the ultimate success. Testing, mostly, helps with identifying major problems and with identifying low cost - high impact improvements and alternative solutions. The actual success is only possible if we are on the right Destination. And testing can help with setting destination, too.
Common Objections Against Testing and How to Fight Them Off
- We already know the feedback we’ll get…
- The solution is already very obvious. Look at our competitors…
- We don’t have time/budget/researcher…
- My boss wouldn’t let me…
Don’t tell them?