10 Most Popular User Testing Methods

Users testing an application illustration

The aim of most entrepreneurs or business owners is to solve a user’s problem. However, there are two aspects to bear in mind if you want your idea to succeed regardless of your business:

Your solution needs to be clear and easy to use, so your users are more likely to adopt it immediately.

When developing your platform, it should have as few bugs as possible, and the existing errors do not disrupt the user flow.

So, how can you ensure that you achieve both of these objectives? The answer is simple: User testing.

Organizations can obtain insight into customer experience by receiving early, real-time feedback from real users through user testing. But, why is user testing so important?

To give you one simple reason, user testing is essential because 76% of buyers will switch brands after just one negative experience.

So, yes, user testing is essential for assessing the performance and usability of your future website or app. And remember, despite it being predominantly used in user-centered design, user feedback is valuable across all forms of design.

How Does It Work?

In summary, user testing is gathering participants and asking them for feedback on your wireframes, prototypes, app, or website. You may be able to do this with volunteers, but you may need to present them with an incentive, such as a discount or a monetary reward.

In any case, the goal of user testing is to gather candid feedback on how your prospective or present platform feels, looks, and performs in the eyes of real people. However, keep the following in mind when conducting user tests:

  1. Not every piece of feedback needs to be included, you need to talk it over with your team, prioritize them collectively, and decide solely to implement the most important changes;
  2. When you work on designs or platforms for a long time, you tend to get attached – it’s only natural. So, remember that when you get feedback, especially unmoderated or anonymous comments, it’s about the user, not you or your product.

1. Usability testing

You have the best chance of analyzing your new system’s performance, efficiency, and user experience during usability testing.

There are many different types of usability testing. As a result, you select the type of test based on resources such as the target audience or the test objective.

The following are some of the most prevalent types of usability testing:

  • Moderated testing
  • Unmoderated tests

2. Concept Testing

When you have a great idea, you must first determine whether or not it will be adopted by the general population. And concept testing is the right tool because it allows you to assess a new product’s acceptance by users.  It not only reveals and refines strengths, but it also detects flaws that could lead to failure.

Users score your website or app based on variables like confusion, innovation, advantages vs. cost, usability intent, and so on, therefore concept testing should take place early in the product development process. Additionally, this form of user testing can be done individually or in groups, remotely, or in person.

3. Card Sorting

During card sorting, participants show how they intend to interact with your site or app based on its navigation and layout.

Card sorting is typically used early in the design process to assist validate concepts. However, you can apply this user testing method once you’ve established the core information architecture and want to fine-tune it.

There are three ways for card sorting, which can be done in person or remotely:

Open Card Sorting – To make navigation easier, users sort navigation components by adding categories and labels on a website.

Closed Card Sorting — In this situation, the testers are just tasked with determining where the navigation item fits, given the categories have already been established.

Semi-Open/ Semi-Closed Card Sorting — Participants must choose whether to begin with open or closed card sorting. The names of the categories can be changed, and they can be added or removed by users.

4. Tree Testing

Would you like to seek feedback on a proposed site structure from users? The tree testing method is exactly what you’re looking for!

A tree test requires users to locate items based on the structure and spelling of a website.

You may show users a menu structure in its most basic form using tree testing, without having to worry about the layout or design. The user can find items by performing numerous tasks using the site’s structure.

Tree testing usually takes about 15-20 minutes. Since most users will lose interest if a task takes too long, each session will normally consist of 15-20 tasks. This method is used to determine how easy it is for visitors to find things on the website.

5. A/B Testing

A/B testing is a good technique to figure out which internet design and marketing plan will work best for you. Simply said, it helps you in determining which of your ideas is the most popular among your visitors.

This test requires creating two versions of the same piece of content and the division of the audience into two groups. After that, each group has access to a different version of the content.

The control version, which is usually the current version of your website, and the variation version, which is a new version, are the two versions. Half of the visitors’ traffic goes to the control page, while the other half goes to the variations page, with each being evaluated and compared.

There is no rule regarding the differences between the two forms; they can be as significant as you want. One headline or button, for example, might be modified, or the entire page can be rebuilt.

User discussing about different options illustration

6. First-Click Testing

First-click testing is a great approach to improving the design of your website or app. This test is particularly useful for determining where a user clicks on the screen when engaging with a website or application.

To succeed at any task, you must first succeed at the first click. If the first click is correct, there is an 87% chance of finishing the assignment; however, if it is incorrect, there is only a 46% chance of completing the task.

Furthermore, the findings of first-click testing can help you figure out if your clients can discover what they’re looking for quickly and easily once they’re on your website, and if not, where they click instead.

First-click tests consist of a task presented to the participants, followed by an interface image that they must click to complete the task.  The location and duration of their click are also recorded.

You can simply ask the user why they clicked where they did at the end of the test if you want to get further information. For instance, you may inquire:

  • What piqued their interest
  • Did they get what they were looking for when they clicked or not?
  • Was there anything they didn’t like about it?

7. Beta Testing

Did you identify your users’ needs, and build your website according to the rules? Now, you need to thoroughly test the website before it is launched. As a result, it’s time for beta testing.    

Beta tests are an important part of website development since they ensure that users have an error-free experience after the site is finished. What’s more, it features real people in real situations.

The beta testers are chosen and given a set period of time to use the site. In general, beta tests allow you to see if users can use the site and if they understand and use all of its features.

You may use the feedback from users to improve the website as they report bugs and other concerns. Beta testing also provides comments on which features should be introduced or avoided, as well as technical solutions.

8. Focus Group Testing

Six to nine people are involved in the focus group testing. In this method, y our website or app is evaluated based on the views and opinions of participants. Given that participants will debate user interface features during this test, it is recommended to conduct it during the project’s strategy phase.

A test usually lasts two hours, with a moderator keeping the focus on the topic. It enables you to figure out what users want from a website by recognizing themes in a set of data.

One significant disadvantage is that it frequently leads to biased results. The voices of reserved people are suppressed by extroverts and persuasive people, which affects the test outcomes.

9. Survey

Surveys are an excellent method to obtain quantitative data from a large number of people in a short amount of time. In general, surveys are made up of questions that collect data on a wide range of topics.

Furthermore, it is possible to conduct it both in-person and remotely. It has the following characteristics:

  • Since you can develop it yourself and there are no usage fees, it is cost-effective.
  • Fast and simple since it may be created and distributed within a day.
  • It’s simple to get feedback from a wide range of people.
  • Cannot gather quality insights and
  • Understanding usability issues is not possible

10. Eye Tracking Testing

An eye-tracking test tracks a user’s eye movements while they navigate a webpage. The method generates heatmaps or pathway diagrams based on where users click or hover while performing activities.

It specifically assists you in determining what attracts visitors’ attention, their eye pathways, and how users interact with the website.

Physiological insights are disclosed by eye-tracking research without the need for direct interaction with users. Businesses can use this data to figure out which parts of their websites are the most popular.


In summary, user testing is the process of getting information about a website from a group of real users. More precisely, user testing reveals how real users interact with your website and provides recommendations for how to improve it.

In today’s competitive environment, creating average products will not guarantee business success. As a result, only products that provide an exceptional customer experience will be able to win customers’ loyalty.

User testing includes many advantages, including gaining information about users’ preferences, saving time and money, and identifying problems or flaws. Finding preferences and bugs, above all, helps improvement and can aid in increasing website traffic.

User showing different options illustration