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User Research & Usability Testing Should Be At the Core Of Your Design Process, Not Something You Add At The End

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I didn’t realize how fortunate I am to work at a company whose core focus is on UX, until I went to an awesome conference (ConvergeSE) and ran into a few UX pros who expressed frustration about a problem they were running into that completely blew my mind. In their organizations they were having issues getting their teams to allow them to do usability testing and user research at the beginning of, and during the design and development stages.

I was kind of shocked. They said their organizations were basically forcing them to do their testing at the end of the process, when the entire release was “complete.” When they uncovered major usability issues, they were told those would be integrated into the next release.

What the heck is going on?! The whole point of usability testing and user research is to ensure that your product will be usable and improve your users’ experiences! Why release a garbage version, when you could release a great one to start with if you just integrated UX research into the core of your design process?

Rather than wasting weeks or months of work on a garbage release, just do the usability testing and user research up front, and do it right the first time! Spending all of your dev hours fixing a jacked up version, rather than spending that time working on innovative NEW ideas, seems completely counter intuitive.

If you’re in one of these organizations, and you’re given push back in the form of, “But we can’t afford to do usability  testing and user research,” there are some mega cheap remote testing tools available these days. (I’m looking at you SolidifyApp!) A $19 buck a month subscription and a couple hours per week of dedicated testing time could save your company massive cash in wasted dev hours. Dollar signs talk! Just saying, 😉

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