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Thank you for your insights. Very interesting observations :)
According to your experience with Lean UX, what's the more typical approach: everyone in the team doing some testing or someone doing all the testing for everyone else?
Or maybe a better phrasing of the same question: do you know designers who at least sometimes perform their own tests or is there a strict separation between design and usability as there used to be one (and sometimes still is) between design and development?
In my experience, it's been everyone involved in coming up with the solution doing the testing. Product managers, developers, and even users - if you're lucky enough to have them be a part of the collaborative team.
I feel like I may have oversimplified part of the Lean UX process, however. It's been my experience that in Lean UX, there is no "single wringable neck" for the design - the design is a derivative of the collaboration of the team.
Also important to note, the testing is done at an early enough stage to avoid any confirmation bias cropping up, hence the concept of "testing hypothesis" instead of "testing design," where design implies something a bit firmer.
In my current role, we've got a dedicated UX researcher who does our testing with remote/external participants, and then participates in larger design sessions to help shape the next iteration of a design. This model works well for us because she's fast in testing, analyzing, and reporting back what the pain points were. Additively, we're proactive about being part of the test planning and focusing on smaller chunks of functionality for testing.
I hope that helps to paint a better picture.
I also wanted to say, I can totally understand the place you were in when writing the original article - it's extremely tough dealing with outside agencies sometimes when you're an internal designer, but it's important to note that what those agencies provide back is objectivity, and it just another input into your process. It should never override your internal subject matter expertise or understanding of the user landscape.
Thanks again for your insights. It's a great way of learning for me :)
I'd like to ask you one final question: when you talk about "testing hypotheses" what exactly do you mean by that? Testing sketches, mockups, MVPs or maybe only marketing headlines via Google AdWords? Or something completely different? And is it a qualitative or more quantitative approach? Or doesn't that matter at all?
Sorry for claiming to ask you one final question and then writing 5 question marks in one paragraph. I appreciate every tip you can share.
Really, "testing hypothesis" means testing whatever is quick enough to articulate a potential solution to an already-articulated design problem. That potential solution could be as small as a copy change or as big as a layout change. It depends on the design problem you're encountering.
The approach itself is qualitative, hence the "Lean." The objective is to get to a hypothetical solution as quickly as possible, qualify or disqualify it on its merits, and then refactor to stabilize as needed.
Thanks for your explanation. I definitely take a closer look at "testing hypotheses". I'll try to "google" the rest myself … thank you very much :)
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