Take it, break it, and make it better
So how exactly do you know when a product is user-ready? Once again, researchers play a key role — this time, in usability and beta testing.
“Early on, we may simply sit someone down with a design comp and see if they find and understand certain elements within the design. Or, we may have someone work with a rough prototype just to see how they interact with it or how they complete certain tasks,” Jones says. “But eventually, especially during beta testing, what we’re doing is basically like giving someone the keys to a car and letting them take it for a test drive.”
For researchers, designers, and developers, user testing is where things get exciting. It’s the first chance to see just how successful the product really is. Of course, sometimes all this excitement can lead to things getting a little cramped.
“During one of our Facebook beta tester interviews, we had at least a dozen people from 6 different departments crammed into this little meeting space so they could listen in,” Wolfram-Hvass says. “Everybody was so eager to hear the results and feedback.”
As exciting as interviews with beta testers can be, the ultimate feedback comes after a release to the entire customer base. With Mailchimp’s Facebook Ad Campaigns tested, refined, and tested again by a small group of customers, the feature was finally ready for everyone. And that’s where the researchers’ work really paid off.
“The feedback from our customers has been very rewarding,” Jones says. “With this product, we had a very clear goal to streamline the process of creating Facebook ads in a very easy, intuitive way.” We were all happy to hear small businesses get excited about how fast it is to create an ad in Mailchimp and their enthusiasm over the targeting possibilities. This was something our customers wanted, and it feels great to know we’ve delivered a good product.”
That’s not all, folks
For both Jones and Wolfram-Hvass, it all comes back to helping small businesses save time and money.