The benefits of combining user testing and product management

Bjarke Bierring Kristoffersen, Marketing Manager Preely

How do typical product managers make product decisions? Often, it’s about managing conflicting demands and ideas from multiple stakeholders, and to understand which features will perform the best with customers.

Making successful product decisions is also about doing market research, asking users for their needs and wants, and finally to produce ideas and concepts for a final product.

But that’s often where the user involvement ends, and when product teams stop discovering new facts about user- behavior, needs and wants. But why stay here?

Slowly, a new type of digital product manager is emerging, who is persistent about putting the user in the center of their universe, by continuously testing and validating their product decisions with real users.

These product people know, that there is a ton of opportunities and benefits from testing, and he always supports his decisions with a data-driven approach. A method, which has proven hugely successful to create genuinely user-driven digital products, and steer every product meeting away from guessing and discussing.

product management and user testing

How can I stop discussing my product ideas and start testing them?

In practice testing your ideas requires you to build multiple prototypes the conceptualized different designs and testing them with real users. It might seem like a complicated and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be.

Consider engaging in remote unmoderated user testing, and create low-fidelity prototypes that don’t require much time nor resources to produce. With the right tool, you can build prototypes from screenshots and share tests among your existing customer panels via URL.

Learn more: Remote unmoderated usability testing 101: The full guide to starting testing

What are the benefits of validating your product ideas with user testing?

1. Validate product decisions with user data
Getting a ton of feature ideas is excellent and often easy when you have done your preliminary consumer research/surveys. However it is often deciding which of your ideas, that should be incorporated into the final product, that can prove to be a tricky exercise.

From a user testing approach, deciding and validating which ideas will work is straightforward. From gut-feeling, stakeholder input and market research, the best ideas are chosen and turned into low-fidelity prototypes, that easily and fast can be tested with real users. Instead of asking them, the users will automatically validate your ideas by using them or clicking on them.

2. Win every product arguments with a user-driven approac
The days of spending countless hours discussing UI designs are over. Make sure to win every product discussion, by backing every case with inputs from real users.

3. Identify and solve product issues much earlier in the process
When testing product ideas and concept early in the process, you can find and fix product issues much earlier in the process which in terms while saving you time and money later in the process. In fact, it has proved to be a 100 times cheaper to fix usability issues before the development process is started.

4. Get the insights needed to build genuinely excellent products that drive business
Finally, by continuously testing your ideas with real users, you will get the insights you need to identify the product decisions that will drive business in the long run.

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As we strengthen and expand our platform, we have changed our name to Preely. Testing remains at the heart of what we do, and we're happy to continue providing our service in 2018.
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