You may have decided to invest in a low-code app rather than continue using manual methods like paper forms and spreadsheets. Or perhaps you have an existing bespoke app that you’d like to develop further. In any case, here’s what you can do to guarantee the best potential outcome for your bespoke app:
Usability research. But isn’t it true that doing usability research takes a lot of time and money? And if we do it, will it be worthwhile?
Traditional usability research might be expensive and time-consuming, but the information you gain will be invaluable in fine-tuning your app. A business can reap the rewards of usability research without the typical time and money investment by employing a low-code platform and citizen developers.
You can name it guerrilla research, discount usability testing, or something else entirely; either way, it’s a technique to get quick, cheap feedback from real users. No expensive research teams, extensive testing, or time commitment is required. You can acquire the majority of usability research’s benefits without spending a ton of money or wasting a ton of time if you follow a few simple research tactics.
What Does “Guerrilla Research” Mean?
With guerrilla research, you can conduct usability testing at a fraction of the cost and effort of conventional methods. Consider it in terms of the 80/20 rule. You get 80% of the value of traditional research by spending 20% of the time, money, and effort.
The lack of resources for conventional usability testing makes guerilla research ideal for smaller teams who nonetheless want to use user feedback to enhance their apps. Guerrilla research, in a nutshell, is efficient, practical, and low-cost.
Traditional Research Vs Guerrilla Research
Now, how does this new approach to usability testing differ from the old? For starters, there is a reduction in sample size because fewer people are being tested. Usability testing has traditionally involved a large number of people, which can quickly rack up costs. In contrast, guerrilla research typically involves testing fewer subjects over a shorter period of time.
Also, guerilla research is more likely to favor shorter sessions. Sessions for traditional market research can last up to an hour, whereas those for inexpensive usability testing often last between ten and fifteen minutes.
In contrast to paying an organization to provide you with lots of participants for a weeks-long project, guerrilla research is less strict and formal and can involve asking a coworker for aid or approaching a stranger on the street.
This means that the main distinction between guerrilla research and conventional usability studies is one of scale. Sessions for both will look very similar: you and a participant will be seated together, either in person or virtually, and given a task or series of tasks to accomplish. Your meetings with them will be shorter in duration and involve fewer people.
Benefits Of Guerrilla Research
In the early stages of a company’s development, when resources are scarce, there may not be enough money to fund costly research, let alone hire a separate usability team. It’s not worth it for a retail firm to invest too much time and money into an internal app utilized by only a dozen employees if the main service the business delivers is unrelated to the app that requires improving. Gone are the days of laborious, time-consuming, and money-sucking focus groups. Guerrilla research sessions may be held with little effort and much better outcomes.
When top management is on board, this approach’s adaptability and pragmatism allow for rapid expansion or contraction of activities to meet the team’s requirements as they evolve. in order to make sure your notions make sense to other people, it’s easy to grab a coworker or two (if they’re available) and run your notes, questions, and tasks past them when testing an internal app.
Volunteers, who can provide priceless feedback from the field, are easy to come by when introducing a public-facing app. It usually takes time and effort to locate the desired individuals in person or online.
Guerrilla research is especially useful for the citizen and low-code developer teams because these groups are typically smaller and more personally invested in the project. Without the need to coordinate with a separate usability team, which could take several days only to schedule meetings and collect relevant data, developers can handle the entire project more efficiently.
Things To Take Care Of When Doing Guerrilla User Research
Lean user experience (UX) research is something we feel strongly about; it involves gathering user feedback in a way that is adaptable and quick to help with product iteration. Therefore, even industry experts support guerrilla or do-it-yourself user research. There are, however, a few things that must be attended to first:
Meet With The Appropriate Users
The hardest part of user research for novices is finding the people to interview. It’s simpler to say than to execute, so we’ll have to be deliberate in our search for like-minded individuals. Suppose you’re trying to figure out how to get more people to use your eCommerce site by making it more social media friendly, for instance. In that case, you should survey people currently using social media, preferably including those who use social media for online buying and those who don’t. Determine who to approach with your questions and products by giving each serious thought. If you talk to the wrong users, you’ll get false information and be in a worse position than when you started.
It’s Not Appropriate To Ask Leading Questions
To some extent, we believe this is common knowledge, yet, it can be challenging to avoid asking potentially misleading questions when you are the one who creates the product and has strong feelings about it. Creating a moderator’s guide to help you avoid asking questions that are obviously intended to lead would be fantastic.
Make Tasks That Are Natural And Make Sense
This is only true if you are testing usability, meaning you need to give users tasks. The challenge is that you often need to resort to non-natural tasks to zero down on an unusual facet of the user workflow. Users might put an item in their cart and then complete their purchase. In contrast, this assignment is too fabricated, as it requires participants to record data in which they have little interest. As a result, the data won’t tell us much about how people actually buy things. An alternative is the so-called “compelled shopping” task, where the user is required to search for and purchase an item that they have no choice but to get. Doing so is the best way to gather authentic feedback from customers.
Consider The Entire User Journey
Since many guerilla user researchers are responsible for a certain product feature, they tend to zero in on that aspect when conducting their study. But we all know that context plays a huge role in user experience. The whole picture can’t be seen by focusing on just one touchpoint. Thus, you need to consider the entire user journey, from the moment they first learn about your website (maybe via a Google search) until the moment they finally click “back” (and depart), at which point you might inquire as to what they plan to do and why.
Collect The Necessary Information About The User’s History
Various users exhibit varying patterns of conduct. A product could be simple to use for those with technical expertise yet complicated for those without. Regular eBay shoppers have a distinct value perception than do first-time customers. Buyer protection is viewed differently by eBay merchants and eBay shoppers.
Contextual knowledge is always the key to gaining useful user insight. To better understand the user’s perspective, it is helpful to inquire about their demographics, interests, level of technological sophistication, and prior experience with similar goods.
After acquiring your data, you should start evaluating it as soon as possible. Make a note of both the main and minor complaints your participants had. It’s as simple as reviewing old sessions and making extensive notes, complete with direct quotes and timestamps, so you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips when making adjustments.
We intend that this manual will serve as a starting point for you to conduct your own guerrilla usability studies. Just one or two citizen engineers, a few days, and a few participants will do the trick. You don’t need a full-fledged UX team with an infinite budget and a timeline of weeks or months. Once you begin to collect useful, actionable insights, you will rapidly advance the quality of your app.