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Test your idea asap — with both your users and Developers

It’s your job to ask for feedback


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Christian Jensen

3 years ago | 2 min read

It’s your job to ask for feedback

What you need to realise and remind yourself is that you’re not the expert on everything, nor should you be. The people who are going to use your design can best show you how easy it is to use. The people who are going to build your design can best tell you how easy it is to build.

There’s no shame in asking for feedback from domain experts. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s an essential part of your job as a designer.

Some examples

Here are some specific situations in which a test make a lot of sense:

  • You have an idea for a design but you’re unsure if it’s easy enough to use
  • You have two or more ideas and you don’t know which one is the best
  • You have an idea, but you don’t know how difficult (if even possible) it is to build

When you find yourself in one of the situations mentioned above, and you neglect to ask for feedback, your own opinion about the idea(s) evolves. You may fall in love with an idea, or you may shoot it down as not being good enough.

Your opinion doesn’t matter

What you need to remember is that your own opinion doesn’t really matter when it comes to design and new features.

What matters is the opinion of your users, and — not the least — your developer colleagues who have to build the thing.

Can your idea be built, and can it be done within a reasonable timeframe? If so, do users want your idea and is it easy to use?

What stops me (and maybe you) from testing?

I’ve found a few different feelings and situations that hold me back from testing. These have caused me to not do the testing I should’ve done, and I’ve always come to regret it later on. So watch out for, and do your best to avoid, the following situations:

  • Feeling that you should be able to figure everything out on your ownYou really shouldn’t, and your boss and colleagues shouldn’t expect you to either.
  • Being overly confident in your own ideasCome on, you’re just not that smart.
  • Down-prioritising testing because of lack of timeI get it, testing may be one of the ‘luxuries’ that gets cut out when you’re approaching the deadline, but if you don’t have time for testing in a project it probably comes down to poor planning to begin with. Do better next time.
  • Having no easy access to test participantsThere’s really no shortage of online testing platforms with test panels just waiting to try out your website or app. They’re not perfect, but some testing is always better than none.
  • Feeling that you need a highly sophisticated test setupI’ll just repeat my statement from above: Some testing is always better than none. Show a hand-drawn sketch to a colleague, yell your idea at a developer across from you, let a random passerby click around in your InVision prototype. It’s all testing, no video recording or fancy one-way mirror needed.

So, to sum up…

Remember to test your ideas — ASAP! Not only with users, but with the developers as well, and even other internal stakeholders when relevant.

There’s really no valid excuse for not testing your ideas out, and the earlier you do it, the cheaper it’ll be and the better your design will become.

If anyone reads this, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Originally published at techmoneyculture.com on April 22, 2018.




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Christian Jensen

UX Designer, investor, and NFT nerd, writing about innovation, investing, product design, and culture ✍️


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