International user experience testing: 5 tips for a better research project
Readying your website, app, software product, or mobile experience for an international market can be an expensive and time-consuming business. Particularly if your preparation is poor.
Rigorous user experience testing goes without saying, when developing a product that offers the most to your customers. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked when targeting a global audience.
Below are 5 tips we tell our clients, when planning international user research.
1. Is it worth it?
The first question we ask, in all instances, is whether international usability testing will actually benefit you. We have seen organisations go to the considerable expense of doing the research, only to ignore the results because the development process has already overtaken them. Before starting any international project, be honest about what it’ll achieve, so you don’t end up wasting your money.
2. Do the groundwork
Country-based expert usability reviews are a cost effective method of eliminating the elements that won’t translate to an international environment, before going to the expense of lab-based or online user testing. This allows you to concentrate solely on the important refinements, when the more intensive (and expensive) testing begins.
3. Understand the cultural climate
Recognise the cultural differences that may impact on your results. Japan, for instance, is a country where criticism may not be as forthcoming as you would wish, when carrying out user experience testing. Knowing this beforehand will allow you to compensate accordingly, in this case perhaps placing the emphasis on observation.
4. Use what you know
If you’ve undertaken usability and user experience testing in a particular country already, what does that research tell you? Can it be used to inform your latest project? Don’t make work for yourself. Looking back over previous results and feedback can provide nuggets of valuable information that will help guide your testing projects time and again.
5. Consider the alternatives
Will taking your user experience testing to foreign climes justify the expense of travel and lab time? There are online tools that can do the job, for a fraction of the cost. Granted, online reviews may not provide the level of feedback a lab-based usability test will, but if you’re on a budget, it might just mean the difference between something that offers your customers a good user experience, and something that doesn’t.
For usability and user experience testing that suits your development cycle, contact UX24/7 today!