An purple triangle and pink circle overlaying each other.


Rewatch your videos

Enjoy listening to the participants painstakingly try to explain your product as many times as you want! Hearing users explain their thinking will help you experience your product from their perspective.

Be sure to pay attention to the exact words they use — these details are crucial. For example, if your participants kept referring to your main screen as a ‘Dashboard’ but you’ve got buttons for ‘Home’ all over the app, you’ve got a mismatch between your app and their expectations.

Rewatching also encourages you to notice small details you might have missed during the test.

Plus, it’s an opportunity to collect lots of evidence to back up your claims when talking to other people on your team. If someone has been doubting this process, show them some select moments and watch their expression change right before your eyes.

Distill your learnings into solutions

It’s important to remember your participants will likely never present you with the solution to a problem they struggled with — instead they provide insights into their experience. It’s your job to take these insights and turn them into specific solutions in the form of new features, products, prototypes, ideas to test further, and more.

For example, if you see your participants struggling with a date picker on your app, ask yourself questions like:

  • What led to them being frustrated?
  • Did they have enough information to know why they needed to pick dates?
  • Did they know what the outcome was going to be once they picked a date?
  • Did they understand how date picking fits in with their overall goal?
  • What was their overall goal?
  • What was stopping them from being successful?
  • Did they need to pick dates at that point in time or could they have done it later when they had a better grasp on the app?

These questions will help you distil your learnings into a specific solution. And when we say specific, we don’t mean “Fix the date picker.” Instead, frame the solution around the participant’s problem. Something like, “Add copy to the date picker screen to help users understand why they need to select a date.”

Let the results speak for themselves

We’ve found the results of these tests reveal themselves… and can’t be unseen. Generally after one test you’ll spot something — and after five it’s confirmed.

The ones which are confirmed by multiple participants are the results you want to focus on. There will always be a million things to fix in your app, but the ones that stand out in tests like these are usually the most critical things blocking users from being successful.

How to prioritize solutions

There are many ways you could prioritize what you work on most urgently, but we typically look at three metrics:

  • Times mentioned. Obviously, the more users experienced a similar problem, the more critical the fix.
  • Highest user impact. Have you discovered an issue that has a great impact on a user’s ability to interact with your app’s core functionality? This is a high priority.
  • Low hanging fruit. This is the least important metric — but still important nonetheless. If it’s a quick fix that could make a significant impact, do it.

Save the small stuff for later

There will be many many small things you notice. Save them for later in some kind of backlog (Trello is a great — and free — tool for something like this) and refer back to them when you begin working on future improvements.

Celebrate and iterate

Congrats! You’ve tested five users, and you’ve learned some incredible lessons about how people use your app and what they need to be successful.

Now it’s time to take everything you’ve learned, implement your solutions, improve your product, and… test again!

Wait, what?

Yep, you read that correctly. User testing is never a one-and-done event — at least not if your ultimate goal is to build something people can’t (or don’t want to) live without.

As you conduct more and more tests, you’ll apply your learnings to make changes — sometimes subtle and sometimes massive — to your product to better achieve product-market fit.

With each iteration, you’ll get you closer to the product of your users’ dreams — until one day you just might develop the Windows 95 of this generation.


Action Items

  • Re-watch each session and take detailed notes, highlighting when participants make the same observation or comment
  • Prioritize results which are confirmed by multiple participants
  • Create a backlog to keep track of results which are not top priority
  • Give yourself and your team a high five
  • Take a breather and then figure out what you’re going to test next
Next: Scale up