Here are three ways how user and usability testing is like exercise 🏋🏃

1. There’s always an excuse not to do it.

The assumption here is that like exercise, user testing is good for you (or your product). It uncovers user needs, problems and opportunities that can easily be missed or mis-assumed. Although you know it’s good for you, all the effort and time around recruiting users, scheduling, preparing test scripts, feedback synthesis..etc. can get in your way. And also, if your conversion metrics or retention aren’t in crisis mode, why should you bother? Well exercising regularly is not only preventive of serious illnesses and diseases, but also helps you perform better in your life.

And like exercising, you don’t have to do marathons and iron-man types of user research to make gains. You can opt do something like the 7-minute workout version of user testing more frequently.

Quick and dirty user research is undoubted better than not doing anything at all.

2. You always feel good afterwards

The barriers to do user or usability testing can take you and your team over to the point where everyone is skeptical about doing it. How many times have you felt the same way with exercising, but felt so good afterwards? There’s always a net positive gain—where it’s building more empathy and understanding of your users or making measurable progress to improve your product.

3. It can hurt you if you don’t do it right

Without proper form, diet and training, you can definitely hurt yourself while exercising. And with user testing, you can hurt your team and product if you ask leading questions, ‘pitch’ your solution to your users, or get feedback from the wrong people.

Every team and organization has different needs that determine what kind of user research works best for your team, project and product.

And like regular exercise, keeping your product in great shape requires regular testing and learning from real users 💪🙌

Junu Yang

Hey, I’m one of the founders of UserLook. I’m also a design and research nerd on a mission to help others build things people love. Meerkat is my spirit animal 🌱😸