The role of UI/UX testing in customer satisfaction
Regardless of the industry, every business needs one thing to ensure its success and longevity: loyal and satisfied customers.
However, it seems that organizations often find themselves too busy accelerating the delivery of new features and meeting release deadlines, which results in a lackluster user experience (UX).
However, with consistent investment in strong UI/UX testing practices, companies can provide their users with the best possible experience while maintaining their pace of feature delivery.
UI/UX AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Brent Stewart, senior analyst director at Gartner, emphasized the importance of UI/UX testing when it comes to customer satisfaction.
He explained that when organizations fail to make this investment and instead prioritize release deadlines, they are actually adding time to their long-term schedule, while also risking losing customers to competitors who offer better UI and UX.
“I would much rather miss a deadline, deliver a week later, but be much more confident that what we deliver meets the user needs and business goals of this product,” he said.
Josh Koenig, co-founder and chief strategy officer of WebOps platform Pantheon, said he believes UI/UX testing is absolutely critical to customer satisfaction and retention due to competitive advantage. that they offer.
“Differentiating by providing a good customer experience, whether in the early stages of discovery and learning, or in the later stages of delivery and customer service, is really important,” Koenig said.
He expanded on this by saying that a strong investment in UI/UX testing helps organizations exceed expectations, retaining existing users while attracting new ones.
Jason Buhle, director of UX strategy at UX research solutions company AnswerLab and a lecturer in the online Master of Science in Applied Psychology program at the University of Southern California, shared those beliefs.
He said: “It’s important to do these benchmarks so that there aren’t these frustrations that today will quickly lead people to another solution… it’s not like the good old days where you buy expensive software and get kinda stuck with it, now you would just go and use something else.
Dan Giordano, Senior Director of Product Marketing at end-to-end software testing company Applitools, also spoke about the positive impact that robust UI/UX testing practices have on customer satisfaction and retention.
“I think modern consumers have a level of standard that they expect when using an app or website built from a big brand,” Giordano said, “And I think the level of design what organizations are doing and the amount of effort that we’ve put into it has really gone up a level in the last few years.
He attributes much of the focus on UI/UX testing in recent years to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased need for businesses to provide customers with visually pleasing, easy-to-use apps and websites. utilize.
UI/UX TESTING CHALLENGES
Given this, the importance of UI/UX testing cannot be overstated. However, despite this recognition, many organizations are still missing the mark with their current testing practices.
According to the 2022 State of UI/UX Testing Report by Applitools, one of the main reasons many companies are struggling to keep pace with UI/UX testing while maintaining the speed of feature releases is that more than half of them still rely on the manual. testing practices to validate applications.
The survey revealed that due to the rapid evolution of technology, legacy testing practices fail to meet quality engineering requirements for their digital products and services, which is why many organizations find themselves blocked.
“We’ve seen changes on the business side in apps or on the development side happening multiple times a day,” Giordano said. “72% of respondents had their biggest challenge around the ever-changing UI… It may have been a huge design effort in the past and may have taken months, but now it can taking days and testing and keeping pace, I think that’s the biggest challenge.
Buhle also said that the biggest challenge facing organizations today is managing this increased demand and increased complexity.
“If I had to pick just one… the problem is always finding the time and resources to integrate testing into these increasingly fast-paced environments. The world is going faster every day, so I would say that’s the biggest challenge,” Buhle said.
He also mentioned that the increased complexity of websites and applications has made it difficult to find qualified researchers and testers who are fully capable of handling the scope of what UI/UX testing and user satisfaction now entails. adding another layer to this problem.
Koenig, however, thought there was an even more pervasive challenge than that. He said the biggest challenge is for organizations to approach UI/UX testing in silos rather than as part of a larger whole.
He said that if a team approaches testing as its own island, separate from other aspects of the development lifecycle, its system is inherently flawed and will not perform well.
According to Koenig, a siled approach to testing will inevitably lead to lost balls and errors.
“Constantly trying to push other organizational imperatives with their research findings…you end up with people arguing over priority, but if you do it right, that problem dematerializes because UI/UX testing are embedded in,” Koenig said
THE POSITIVES OF AUTOMATION IN UI/UX
Giordano then discussed how the introduction of AI and automation can be a powerful tool to manage the increased complexity of UI/UX testing.
Giordano explained that AI can help create a way to maintain and update tests that require little or no human intervention.
“Not just looking at self-healing tests in an object-oriented way… but more in a visual way where we can understand, not only things at the code level, but also at the UI level and of the presentation and figure out where things break without you needing to really do another test,” Giordano explained.
Along with the time-saving benefits, he said it also gives developers autonomy, as changes they previously agreed to can be made with a one-click update rather than having to re -test.
AI IN UI/UX TESTING
Jason Buhle, director of UX strategy at UX research solutions company AnswerLab and a lecturer in the Master of Science in Applied Psychology program at the University of Southern California, said that since the user interface and UX are about an individual’s experience, research and testing should be done by people rather than delegated to an AI tool.
“I’m sure there are opportunities… but I think it’s pretty rare that it’s super useful,” he said. “What you usually need is to see more subtlety in the challenge and you need to understand why…so I’m less keen on unmoderated testing [with AI].”
Brent Stewart, principal analyst director at Gartner, said that according to his research, manual testing is still the most popular method among organizations.
“The most common test that’s done is usability testing…these are things that need to be set up by an individual,” Stewart said. “They need to be set up by someone who is knowledgeable about the business and research goals of this survey…so it remains very human-centric.”
However, he went on to say that the analysis part of the testing process is one place where a fair amount of automation can actually help.
Stewart explained that there are tools that can review saved searches and then identify patterns that appear, saving searchers from having to manually pour in many hours of saved search.
“You then have an AI-augmented analysis process that allows you to get reliable results and then generate stronger recommendations faster, which significantly reduces the level of effort,” he said. -he declares.
THE RIGHT WAY TO AUTOMATE
When automating these testing processes with AI, however, it must be done very intentionally and patiently to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
Giordano said managing ambition and starting with a small section of an app where automation is needed and then slowly building components from there is the best method when it comes to this process.
“It’s really heartwarming to start building and running successful tests,” he said. “Then when you develop against those and they start catching bugs, it can really build confidence across the entire product organization that testing is a worthwhile endeavor…so I think starting small and growing is huge.”
Along with automating UI/UX testing, Giordano also believes that investing in a good design system is key to maintaining speed.
“You don’t want to consistently develop the same date picker or button scheme, but recode and redesign it every time,” he explained. “When you use a shared component system, you can test it early on and be absolutely sure that when you use that button system in your particular UI that you’re building, it will be tested and consistent.”