Getting that COVID shot: on the importance of user testing
While the vaccination campaign in our country is finally starting to boot up, the first hitches already put some tension on the system. According to
De Standaard, a large part of the no-shows is due to a miscommunication in the invitation email. Perhaps something that could've been avoided with a small user test?
The invitations that we can expect in our mailbox clearly show some teething problems. To be fair, we don't know all the exact details of the process and there are multiple reasons why and where it can go wrong, both administratively and technically. It is a rather complex operation, but a bit of user testing and validation surely would have avoided some pesky problems.
We are convinced that good analysts were put on this project, but even the best analysts often miss some things as it’s really hard to get into the users’ head.
In the email invite, people are presented with a certain date & time and the options to either accept or decline. Turns out that many people click the "decline" option assuming that they can opt for an alternative date or time. Unfortunately, this is a dead-end. If you click “decline”, you indicate that you do not want to be vaccinated. Picking another moment is no longer possible, to the surprise of many.
We couldn’t help but wonder how a proper round of user testing might have prevented this bumpy kick-off. Such small issues, with big consequences, can easily be avoided by trying out your flow with a test audience - even on a limited scale. It is tempting to trust your own science of thought, but it is never the right way to go. To know whether a digital product (in this case an e-invite) is logical, accessible and user-friendly, you just can’t do without user testing.
Imagine that a small group of 20 people received this invitation as a test. Without a doubt, the problem would immediately have come to light and most likely some other disruptive elements would have been noticed early on.
Chances are this issue will be tackled soon. Still, it underscores the importance of user testing and validation. It is the perfect method for detecting holes in your user experience and tackling them in a timely manner. User validation is the most reliable method to make your product user friendly. And it doesn't have to be complicated work. A small testing group of 5 to 10 people is enough to discover 80% of usability issues. Our advice: don’t skip it. It’s a small effort for valuable results.
In good spirits, our in-house User Testing expert was glad to remind us of 4 non-negotiables:
- Doubt your gut-feeling. Spot your assumptions, test them and validate them. Always.
- It sounds harsh, but underestimate your user. A caveman should know how to use your product (this guy gets it).
- Ensure inclusivity. Don’t think of the middle-aged professional as your audience. Ask yourself if people with a disability, the elderly or non-digital people will manage to use your product.
- Don’t think about the cost of testing, think about the cost of releasing an underperforming product. This cost can be monetary, but more often a lost trust in your solution by end users.
Anyways, we hope you'll get your shot safe & soon!