Last Thursday we had the pleasure of welcoming Justin Knecht (@verticalbones) back to The Gibson Hotel for our last iGAP session of 2012. Justin has been with us before and it's always been a great session, but this year there was a twist to the tale.
Okay, I hear you say, nothing new there. What was new was that this year instead of teaching the theory, and getting the group to perform some observation exercises, we decided to do a real live lab. Real people, using real products, while the creators of those products observed.
Users were asked to 'think aloud' as they tried to sign-up, download free trials, purchase a product, review their cart etc. Whilst the product creators took notes.
The results were amazing. Every single company in the room learnt something about their product and how users interact with it. Some found real road blocks, things that in an online context could mean the difference between a sale and no sale. Others found bugs, some found the flow of the sign-up, or free trial download wasn't quite as smooth as they had hoped.
They say no plan survives contact with the enemy - so once the testers are done, it's time to observe customers interacting with your product and get them thinking aloud.