UX testing – user experience testing

What is user experience – UX?

UX – user experience is any interaction of the user with the product. It refers to the feeling that users experience when using a product, application, system or service. It’s a broad term that can include anything from how well a user can navigate a product, to how easy it is to use, to how relevant the content displayed is, etc.

diagram ux testing vs business objectives vs user goals
What is UX testing?

UX testing definition

UX testing is the process of gathering feedback from real users in order to identify and fix flaws in the user experience. UX testing is an important part of the product and service development process because it can help improve user satisfaction and engagement.

The goal of UX testing is to understand the user experience and identify areas that need to be improved to make the product more user-friendly and enjoyable.

A good user experience is intuitive, simple and barrier-free – allowing the user to easily complete their activities (e.g. order shoes online or open a bank account).

During UX/usability testing, test participants (who represent the target users) are asked to perform specific tasks. This allows UX designers to assess how easily a user can accomplish these tasks without prior knowledge of the product. It provides great insight into how usable and intuitive the current design is and allows the UX team to quickly spot usability issues.

Why is UX testing important?

UX testing allows you to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of your target users, including how they interact with your product or service and what they expect from the experience.
  • Making sure your designs work as intended and actually meet the needs of your customers/end users.
  • Detect user experience issues and fix them sooner rather than later (saving time, money and potentially damaging brand reputation).
  • Identify areas for improvement and opportunities for innovation, allowing you to continuously improve your product, fill gaps in the market and stay competitive.
  • UX testing will ultimately get you closer to a good user experience. Good UX is proven to increase customer loyalty and retention, contribute to a positive brand reputation, increase conversion rates, sales and revenue, and help ensure a brand’s competitive advantage in the marketplace.

When should you perform UX testing?

  • Before designing a new product or feature. This will help you plan design decisions and priorities based on real user insights.
  • Before developing and launching a new product or feature.
  • After the product or feature is launched. It is said that design is never really finished, it is an iterative, continuous process.

Benefits of UX testing

  • Increased user satisfaction

Through usability testing, businesses can learn more about users’ wants, preferences and expectations. By using feedback from users and making changes based on their feedback, businesses can achieve higher customer satisfaction with the product.

  • Competitive advantage

Usability testing helps businesses find out how users behave, what they like and where they have problems. Using these findings, businesses can improve their product or website, go beyond what users expect and thereby gain an advantage in the marketplace.

  • Improving brand reputation

Usability testing helps create a good user experience that helps build a strong brand image. Users who are satisfied with a product or website are more likely to tell others about it.

  • SEO optimization

User experience and SEO go hand in hand. Visitors are more likely to spend more time on a website where they do not experience any problems. Reducing the bounce rate is a valuable signal to search engines, indicating that a page is useful and therefore the browser will display it higher in search results.

Who and what is part of UX testing?

UX testing consists of three basic elements:

  • Facilitator or moderator who leads and oversees UX testing

He instructs test takers on what to do, answers any questions that takers may have, and depending on the type of usability test, asks follow-up questions to gain additional insights. It is important that the facilitator does not influence the behaviour or responses of the participants in any way.

  • Tasks that users/participants will have to complete as part of the UX testing

These are based on realistic scenarios that could occur in the real world. For example, if you’re testing the design of a new ecommerce checkout process, a user’s task during a UX test might go something like this: you want to buy a new pair of shoes on the CCC shoes website. Go through the process of adding shoes to your cart and checkout.

  • Participants taking part in UX testing

Participants should represent the type of people for whom you are designing the product or feature. So if you’re testing an ecommerce website, you should test it on people who match your customers.

UX testing types

Card sorting: card sorting helps you better understand how users search for information on your website. These are digital or physical cards that contain different components of your website, such as “Clothes”, “Women’s Shoes” or “Jewellery”. Users choose these cards and group them according to what makes sense to them. This will help you get into the minds of users and how they group products and topics. This user experience test allows you to analyse how users move around your site so you can help them find information faster.

Usability testing: this type of testing focuses on evaluating the ease and intuitiveness of using the product. It involves tracking users as they perform tasks with the product to see how they interact with it and identify areas for improvement.

A/B testing: this type of testing involves comparing two different versions of a product to see which version works better. It can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of various design elements, such as button placement or use of colour.

Moderated user testing: in moderated user testing, you have a group of participants using your website and a moderator present to lead a discussion about how they perceive your website. It works like a discussion group, with a moderator answering questions and trying to guide participants in navigating the site.

Unmoderated user testing: unmoderated user testing is another option for testing the user experience of a website. In this option, participants work on scenarios and tasks on their own – usually in a remote setting such as their own home. They can go through the steps provided by you and report back on their experience.

Surveys and questionnaires: this type of testing involves asking users about their experience with the product. Surveys and questionnaires can provide valuable feedback on the overall user experience and identify areas for improvement.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT): UAT is a key phase in the software development process. It is the final testing process carried out by end users or stakeholders to verify that the software meets their business requirements and expectations. The focus of the UAT is to verify that the software is functional, usable and meets the required specifications before it is released to market. UAT aims to ensure that the software is delivered to the highest possible quality and meets the needs of the users.

How to write UX tests

1. Determine what you will test

Have a clear idea in your head of what you’re going to test. Besides, what exactly are you evaluating? Usability and ease of a particular process, the layout of a particular page, or something else? Once you have the “what” and the “why” sorted out, you can determine the “how”.

2. Choose from UX testing methods

Next, choose which UX testing method to use. This will depend on the goal of your UX test, as well as the time and resources you have available. Think about whether your UX test should be moderated or unmoderated and whether it should be remote or in person.

3. Decide what tasks the test participants will perform

Determine the exact tasks that participants will perform during the UX test and have a clear process for how they will be performed. Think about what tools the participants will need and what information you should give them before testing.

4. Define what success (and failure) looks like

Define what the success of the tests looks like depending on the tasks that users will be performing. How will you measure usability? Are you going to measure the time it takes a user to complete a particular task, or are you going to focus on a particular usability score provided by the user?

5. Recruitment of participants

Ideally, UX test participants will represent the people who would use your product in the real world. One of the most common questions in usability testing is how many participants are needed to achieve reliable and valuable results. Five is usually defined as the magic number that allows you to gain enough knowledge in a cost-effective way.

6. Analyse your data

Once you’ve done your UX testing, you’ll want to organize and analyze your findings soon. If you’ve collected qualitative data (e.g. user feedback or observation notes), you can use the diagram to pull out common themes and patterns. If you have collected quantitative data (e.g. time to complete a task), you may want to calculate the average completion time for the entire group of users.

7. Report and share your findings

You should always act on the results of UX testing and use them to improve the product. After analysing your findings, summarise the main insights, share them with relevant stakeholders and most importantly, outline what this means in terms of next steps and product development.

BrowserStack UX testing – compatibility testing

The user experience is also defined by some other tests, such as responsiveness and cross-browser compatibility testing. BrowserStack offers cloud-based facilities for testing the responsiveness and compatibility of websites across several combinations of devices and browsers. (You can read a review of BrowserStack in our last article.)

To understand how to perform device compatibility testing on BrowserStack Live, let’s consider two scenarios of testing the BStackDemo website on different devices and browsers to achieve mobile device compatibility testing:

  • Verify that clicking the “Add to Cart” button will add the item to your cart.
  • Verify that clicking the cross icon in the cart pop-up will remove the item from the cart.

Follow the steps below and test the scenarios on real devices.

1. Sign up for BrowserStack Live.

2. Select the device and browser combination you want to test your website on.

screenshot Browserstack Live
compatibility testing with Browserstack Live

2. Test the Add to Cart and Remove from Cart features on bstackdemo.com with different combinations of devices, browsers and operating systems by manually performing the test steps outlined at the beginning.

screenshot Browserstack Live
selection of devices for testing in Browserstack

4. To switch to a different browser on the same device or to switch devices, select “Switch Browser” on the left toolbar and then “Select the desired”.

5. Choose Device-Browser-OS combination from the options available on the toolbar.

Responsive testing

Responsiveness is key to the user experience. With the BrowserStack Responsive Checker Tool, you can easily check the responsiveness of your website at different screen sizes and resolutions in portrait and landscape using real devices.

  1. Register/sign up for BrowserStack at this link.
  2. Now go to this URL.
  3. In the sidebar, select the Web option and the Live option just below the Manual Testing section. Choose your device and browser for the test.

    screenshot Browserstack Live
    compatibility testing with Browserstack Live
  4. Type this URL bstackdemo.com into a search engine. Choose from a wide range of devices in which you want to perform the test. Then press the Check button to run the test and see the result.
  5. This is what the demo page looks like for iPhone X, for example. You can also try out desktop devices.browserstack iphone screenshot

To see more tools to test responsiveness, see our article Responsive Web Design.

UX testing tools


UXtweak is a user research platform full of usability testing tools to improve the UX of websites and apps. It has a global user panel with over 155 million members, making it easy to recruit the right test participants. It specializes in remote usability testing and is a great choice for unmoderated tests that allow you to test quickly, efficiently, and with real users, even if you’re on a budget.


UserZoom is a UX research solution designed for larger enterprises. Works well for analyzing and improving the UX of websites. UserZoom offers both moderated and unmoderated usability testing options and features such as polls, card sorting, tree testing and click testing.


Lookback is another remote usability testing tool that is ideal if you have your own team of testers. Its main features are moderated and unmoderated usability tests as well as interviews. Lookback gives you the ability to easily track user interactions with your website. It also allows you to take notes on participants’ actions and write down insights directly in the app. It is especially known for its moderated tests and interviews, which allow you to speak directly to participants and watch their facial expressions and body movements during testing.


UserTesting is a platform that offers various remote usability testing services and solutions. It offers specialized packages with customized tools for UX and product designers, marketers and design teams. Features that may be included (depending on the level/package you choose) are mobile and website testing, prototype testing, integration and collaboration tools, card sorting testing, tree sorting and more. A popular feature of UserTesting is the template gallery with pre-made test templates that users can customize and create their own tests based on them without having to start from scratch.

UsabilityHub (Lyssna)

UsabilityHub is a remote user research tool that validates design decisions with real users and helps uncover usability issues. It offers Figma prototype testing, surveys, preference tests, first click tests, five-second testing and card sorting. Currently, there is no support for moderated testing or real-time testing of websites/apps.


UX testing is a key process in product design and development that allows you to gather feedback from real users and identify areas for improvement. It aims to create an intuitive, simple and seamless user experience, increasing user satisfaction and engagement.

If you are an IT tester and you speak German, take a look at our employee benefits and respond to job offers.

About the author

Michaela Kojnoková

Agile Test Engineer

Po štúdiu informatiky na ŽU a TUKE som sa najviac ponorila do oblasti automatizácie testovania. Okrem toho sa venujem tvorbe webov, databázam, dátovej analytike, umelej inteligencii a strojovému učeniu. Mám rada cestovanie, šport a najviac si užívam čas strávený v prírode s mojimi blízkymi. LinkedIn

Let us know about you