13 ways to conduct UX testing – and why it’s so important

13 ways to conduct UX testing – and why it’s so important

I recently came across a story about an approach to UX testing being used by Wells Fargo which highlights the importance of experimenting with different ways to conduct UX testing.

At one of its downtown San Francisco branches, Wells Fargo has set up an area called ‘Digital Express’.  This section of the branch provides customers with a series of tablets demonstrating proposed new new digital banking features/functions.  Customers can interact with the prototype solutions and provide quick and direct feedback to the bank, thus allowing the Wells Fargo product development team to ‘…test fast failures in a matter of weeks, rather than months or years’.

It’s an excellent example of the different ways in which UX testing can be conducted.

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Finovate Spring 2016 – Day 2 Highlights

Finovate Spring 2016 – Day 2 Highlights

The second day of Finovate Spring 2016 provided over 30 presentations on a range of perspectives across digital on-boarding, roboadvice, data analysis and security.  As with day 1, a common theme seemed evident:  a combination of digital self service + human interaction + artificial intelligence.

I’ve previously written about a selection of Day 1 presenters; here are a few highlights from Day 2.

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How user testing can go wrong: two case studies

How user testing can go wrong:  two case studies

These days we’re all under pressure to produce new software, new features and new interface improvements quickly.  And the speed demanded by a market of disruptors and startups is ever-increasing.

Within this context, techniques such as agile and lean startup can help immensely to identify critical issues, bring people together in constructive forms and ensure a focus on delivery of software.  However, in the rush to ideate, build an MVP and launch, we can still sometimes forget to validate assumptions and fail to incorporate the right kind of user input through selected contextual research.  When this happens, sometimes the results can be frustrating; other times they can be disastrous.

Two recent instances have highlighted this.  One is well known:  Microsoft’s now-infamous Tay AI bot fiasco.  The other is virtually unknown but personally frustrating to me:  the recent relaunch of the public website for my son’s school Trinity Grammar.

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Agile development and fast failure is part of a bigger picture

Agile development and fast failure is part of a bigger picture

A recent article in Bank Innovation called Agile Development Has Banks Failing Fast (in a Good Way) by Philip Ryan presents a range of cogent points around the benefits and importance of agile development methodologies.  These include:

  • the observation that the threat to traditional banking practice from Silicon Valley comes as much from the adoption of new software development practices as from new technologies and disruptors;
  • the benefits of agile in terms of delivering rapid product innovation;
  • the importance of being prepared to ‘fail’, ie pivot and re-position; and
  • the observation that ‘fast fail’ does not necessarily signify ‘failure’ as much as ‘hypothesis testing’ – in other words allowing product design/development decisions to be based on observations and facts rather than assumptions and preferences.

All of this is true and salient.

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