# Create a User Test

User testing is a critical step in your UX design process.

User testing is an essential part of a UX design process. Without it, you're building features that haven't gone through the sometimes very eye-opening process of being seen and used by other people.


For a detailed overview of the user testing methodology, see our user testing guide. For working with prototypes, see our prototyping guide. For comparing prototype versions, check out our how-to guide for that.

# User Testing in a Nutshell

There are so many reasons why teams neglect to do user tests. It's too expensive. It will delay things. It seems hard. We're not researchers. Don't fall into these traps. When you're using a tool like SoundingBox, letting us handle all the details of finding participants and recording their screens, you can focus on getting the results you need.

What is user testing? It's a form of research that is mostly about observation. It's about seeing what people can and can't do and listening to their thoughts and questions as they work.

All user tests have a similar shape.

  1. You tell us a little bit about your user profile.
  2. You specify a task and follow up questions in your SoundingBox study.
  3. We find the participants and record their screen, usually with them talking out loud as they work.
  4. We notify you when all the participants have completed their work.
  5. You watch your replays and see what worked and what didn't.

What's nifty about user testing is that you will learn something new about your customers and the things you're building for them without fail.

# Creating a User Test in SoundingBox

Here are some detailed steps to creating your first user test in SoundingBox.

  1. Create an account if you haven't already. There's no credit card required, and you can go through the whole process of creating a study as part of your unlimited trial.
  2. Choose the user test template.
  3. Customize the template to your needs.
  4. Create a set of screening questions, taking care to screen out who you don't want.
  5. Tell us how many people you'd like to test.
  6. Choose where you'd like to source your participants. Choose SoundingBox to have us take care of it for you, or choose to do it yourself.
  7. Review your work and publish your study to enable data collection for it.
  8. On the Manage and Launch page, choose Preview to test your study out. Edit your study to make any change.
  9. When everything looks good press Launch to send your study out to participants.

Once you've created your study, you can run through it as a participant to get a feel for how that process works. Then you can replay your response in the dashboard by analyzing your results.

# Next Steps

You're well on your way to running your first user test! Read on to dive in a little deeper.

# Going Beyond the Basics

User testing is critical to any project's success, but it isn't always the best approach for answering every question. To put it another way, making your app or site usable only gets you so far. Apps can be easy to use but still rub people the wrong way, for example. Sometimes we want to learn about things that are hard for people to notice or articulate consciously. These are some of the reasons we created split tests—to provide a workflow for going beyond basic user tests to get at more challenging questions.

For more advanced topics, the following guides are a great place to get started.

  • UX Strategy - UX strategy explained, with examples of UX strategy practices and how to back them up with research.
  • UX Design - An overview of the UX design process, emphasizing the research you can do at every stage.
  • Journey Mapping - What journey maps are and how you can inform them with research.