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Expert Review or User Testing?

To evaluate a solution you can generally choose between expert reviews and user testing. But which one is better?


When evaluating a solution, we can either choose between an expert review or user testing. Both have their benefits. Let's find out which one is better in different situations. I'm your host, Chris, and this is the UX Globals Podcast. 



When evaluating a software, product, or service, it is sensible to work together with users as they are the ones that can give you the most valuable feedback. Still, my advice is to get some expert feedback when evaluating your first concept. Experts know the most common mistakes made that decrease the usability and overall user experience. Hiring a UX expert is cheaper and faster than executing user tests, the results in the first evaluation loop, however, will not be significantly different. When someone has made enough user tests and created many solutions him- or herself before, he or she knows enough about the mistakes that are made while creating a solution. Once you have evaluated the first approach, you can start creating more prototypes that will be reviewed after each other. Depending on how well the expert perceived your first idea, you should consider hiring him or her a second time. If he or she told you that the solution was quite well already, and only some issues have to be fixed, you can focus more on user testing after successfully implementing his or her feedback. 

You can also start with user testing. However, it will take you more time to do so as many more steps are required compared to hiring an expert. First of all, you have to find at least ten users for the first prototyping loop. Then you have to prepare the study, and after that, you need to evaluate the results and have to find the results yourself. I would never advise you not to do user tests because they will bring your significant results. But I would not use them for the very first and maybe even second evaluation loop. User tests will bring you many detailed insights into your users' thoughts and ideas, and the more advanced your concept gets, and the closer you get to the final version, the more valuable is your users' feedback. Of course, real UX experts know what they are talking about and can tell you what they have learned from their experience. Still, it is based on their mental model and not the one of your users' and the experts might not use your solution as they are not part of the target group or might only be one of many users and therefore you should not make all your decisions based on their advice. 

In the end, everything comes down to this: Find a real UX expert like me and let him or her do the first and maybe even second evaluation. Use the feedback and adjust the concept for your solution. After that, you must work together with your users to get more advanced results. 

Join the UX Globals Community on Facebook, and remember to always keep pushing! Have a good one! 

Your Host

We are very proud to present you this episode's host.

UXD Chris

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