Tradeoffs: Usability Testing with Real Target Personas VS Professional Testers

In remote user experience and usability testing, there are a variety of factors that contribute to valuable, authentic user data that can be used to improve your brand’s user and customer experience. Among those factors are the quality and authenticity of the participants taking your usability studies.

Userlytics values itself in providing real target personas that match your target audience – real people just like your customers, rather than professional testers who may not truly match the criteria you are looking for and may be disingenuous with their responses.

Below, we’ll go over the tradeoffs of conducting remote usability studies with real target personas versus professional testers.

1. Slightly Longer Turnaround Time for More Accurate Data

Several of our competitors who use professional testers can produce unmoderated test results within as quick as an hour, but at the risk of providing unreliable, skewed data. With Userlytics, most unmoderated study results are returned within a few hours to a day with the added guarantee of a quality assurance (QA) review. After being submitted, each test result is reviewed by an experienced UX researcher, who looks for things such as detailed and thoughtful responses, genuine feedback, clear articulation, and other indicators of a true target Persona. While this detailed review process may slightly increase the waiting time for test results, it ensures that all your testing metrics are reliable and valuable to your research.

2. Fewer Study Results that Fit your Niche Better

If your target audience is very niche, gathering genuine data may be a slower process if you are using real target Persona over professional testers. However, even with fewer study results to review, using a UX testing platform that guarantees true target Persona will increase the value of your study data, and may actually allow you to make better systemic changes to your platform’s usability without spending money on unnecessary additional study results.

One reason target Persona may yield fewer study results is because of the preventative systems put in place to prevent professional testers. At Userlytics, you can implement detailed screeners at the start of a test to weed out anyone who does not fit your niche. Screeners can be designed with the help of an experienced UX researcher to guarantee effectiveness. Additionally, the platform has algorithms set up that prevent repeat testers from making various tester profiles with the intent of attracting more study invitations. While some other UX testing platforms show all open studies on a public dashboard, at Userlytics, testers require a personalized invitation to join an existing study. Personalized invitations prevent professional testers who do not actually fit the study niche from joining a study.

3. Some Initial Confusion at the Start of a Study for More Genuine Feedback

Real target Persona who have only participated in a few usability studies before, or none at all, may take some added time at the beginning of a study to get their bearings. But this is a small price to pay for the genuine feedback they will provide your brand with. Professional testers have likely taken tens, if not hundreds of usability studies, which removes much of the authenticity from their responses. They may be trying to get through the test as quickly as possible in order to receive their incentive, causing them to rush through questions and activities. On the flipside, any uncertainty an inexperienced target tester faces will actually help you discover more valuable insights about your brand’s user experience. While reviewing these types of results may take a bit longer, it will prove more valuable to your brand’s UX at the end.

To Conclude

While some UX testing platforms boast instant study result turnaround as their primary selling point, there are several reasons to be wary of this selling tactic. Typically, results can only be achieved this quickly with professional testers, instead of genuine target Persona that match your customer base. Userlytics implements several methods of preventing professional testers, such as QA review of every test result, detailed screeners, algorithms to prevent repeat testers, personalized study invitations, and more. By using real target Persona for your usability testing, you will garner better, more thoughtful data in order to improve and transform your brand’s UX and overall customer experience.