- Identify the goals of your product. Define the experience you want for your customers by identifying your representative users, their work environment and how your product will impact their lives.
- Develop your research plan. Target your established goals by identifying appropriate evaluation methods, relevant testing criteria and key goals for a successful user experience. You’re not just testing the features of your product; you’re making sure the customer experience you’re designing is hitting the mark.
- Create your recruiting plan. Match your recruiting criteria with the key characteristics of the customers you identified at the beginning of the process. The cardinal rule of recruiting is to “Know Thy Users.” Recruiting participants who represent your users will ensure that the experience is tailored for the intended audience.
- Test your product. Observe your customers in action. Find out what they like, what they don’t like, where they succeed, and where they experience difficulties with your product. Think about how their experience measured up to their expectations and what can be done to exceed their expectations.
- Refine and retest. Based on your customer feedback, improve your product and repeat the process until you meet or exceed your customers’ goals for a successful experience.
“Business success is always defined by the quality of the overall customer experience.”
—Forrester Research, 2001
“The product is the brand. You build brand in our industry through the product and the experience.”
—Jim Wicks, Motorola, 2006
“Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.”