Contact Us

UX Research Blog

Start a Beta Program (With Nothing to Test)

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 22, 2016 8:30:00 AM / by Molly Wolfberg posted in Usability Testing, Customer Happiness, Beta Testing

[fa icon="comment"] 2 Comments

When I started at my new job a year and a half ago, one of the first things I did was start a beta program. This seems relatively normal for a user researcher, except for one little thing: we didn’t have the ability to turn on beta features in our product.

You heard me. I started a beta program, with nothing to beta test. For almost a year.

At first, this seemed a bit backwards. Why have a big group of engaged, super users when you can’t even give them new things to test? There are a few reasons I did this, and it ended up being hugely successful.


Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

A Step-by-Step Guide to Usability Testing

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 4, 2015 12:30:00 PM / by Rachel Decker posted in Usability Testing

[fa icon="comment"] 2 Comments

This article was originally posted on the AppCues Academy.

It’s hard to get something right the first time you try it. The New England Patriots had four grueling decades before they won three Super Bowls in four years. Morgan Freeman didn’t land his first major Hollywood role until he was 52.

And this is especially true with software. It’s rare that a new feature is perfect after its first build. And when things go wrong, they can go very wrong. Launching a bad product experience can mean hordes of upset customers, lost revenue and, of course, a waste of your team’s most precious resource: time.

So to mitigate these risks, we turn to user testing. User testing provides us the customer insights needed to ensure our next release isn’t a total flop. And whenever you are designing a new user onboarding flow, you’ll want to incorporate extensive user testing into the scope of the project. Testing your onboarding experience with real users before you release it will save you tons of time, and help eliminate confusion that makes users bounce.

Don’t have a UX researcher on your team? Not to worry. You don’t have to be a designer, developer or UX researcher to get great customer insights from user testing. But you do need to know how to ask the right people the right questions to come to important design conclusions. Here’s everything you need to know about how to run an effective user test (and how one particular user test helped HubSpot achieve a 400% lift in one of our KPIs).

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Getting Quick User Feedback: The Easiest Usability Test You'll Ever Do

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 7, 2015 9:41:00 AM / by Molly Wolfberg posted in Usability Testing, ux, user research

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

We’ve all been there. You need to get user feedback on five different things this week before a big launch. You barely have enough time to schedule the usability tests, let alone moderate them. Using a 3rd party isn’t an option.

Sometimes you don’t need 30 minutes to walk through a mockup with a user; sometimes you can’t find a time you both are free; and sometimes you just need a get hacky. Enter: the easiest usability test ever. 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

7 Ways to Get Better Data During Remote Usability Testing

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 11, 2015 1:52:18 PM / by Rachel Decker posted in Usability Testing

[fa icon="comment"] 2 Comments

The last time a friend told you a story, you probably were able to relate to their experience and feelings. Maybe that’s how you two became friends in the first place -- because you got each other. Understanding and relating your emotions to others is called empathy, and it’s an essential part of any relationship.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

[User Testing Tips] Using Real Data in Mockups

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 16, 2014 10:50:00 AM / by Molly Wolfberg posted in Usability Testing, ux, UX Design

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Us user researchers love to say, “test often, test always.” It’s rarely “too early” to test a design, whether it be scribbled on a napkin or a clickable mockup. If you’re ever looking to test an early stage mockup, we’ve seen huge success with including your users’ real data in the mockup. This gives you the opportunity to not only test something without having it built out and still make it easy on the user to complete the usability study. 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

How to Remotely Test Your Mobile App

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 11, 2014 10:06:00 AM / by Molly Wolfberg posted in Usability Testing, ux, Software Development

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

This was originally posted on the HubSpot Development blog.

The HubSpot usability team loves to get feedback on apps we’re developing to make our customer's marketing lives easier. But testing in the mobile environment presents a unique set of challenges. We recently devised a system that allows us to get much more insight from our testing sprints with real mobile users, using real apps in their natural environment -- in situ -- and discovered a whole new set of questions we were able to ask as a result.


Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Usability vs Beta Testing (The What & When)

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 7, 2014 1:51:00 PM / by Rachel Decker posted in Usability Testing, Beta Testing

[fa icon="comment"] 3 Comments

If you work in software and product development (or are stumbling around a UX blog…) you’ve probably heard about usability testing and beta testing. They sound kind of useful and buzzwordy, but what do they actually mean? Are they even different from each other in any meaningful way? I’m asked this question quite often, so I wanted to define what each one is -- what each one is not -- in the life of a UX researcher at a SaaS software company.


Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Why You Should Start A Beta Program Today (And How To Do It)

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 26, 2014 5:30:00 AM / by Molly Wolfberg posted in Usability Testing, ux, Beta Testing

[fa icon="comment"] 1 Comment

If you’re looking for an easy way to get started with some user research around your product and really find out how your product fits with what your users need and want, a beta program is one of the ways to feedback and get the product in the hands of users quickly. If you’re just getting started, a beta program does takes some time to get going. But after that, it’s basically just maintenance. By definition, a beta test is a trial of software in the final stages of its development, carried out by someone not directly developing the product. Beta tests give you actionable feedback and useful data that will make your product measurably better. Once you see how valuable it is to get users’ eyes on features prior to releasing them, you won’t go back. Beta testing helps you see if users will actually use a feature, where as other research, like customer stories, personas and usability testing, tell you if something is valuable and usable.


Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

6 People a UX Researcher Works With

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 13, 2014 11:52:00 AM / by Rachel Decker posted in Usability Testing, ux, Software Development, UX Team

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Being a UX researcher isn’t a one-lady show. There’s no way we can do it alone. Even though there are only two of us at HubSpot, we work with many incredibly talented people throughout the process of helping to make a new piece of software more user friendly. But for now, let’s just cover the top six.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Using Customer Happiness Surveys to Make Customers Happier (And Get Some Good Data)

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 17, 2014 6:00:00 AM / by Molly Wolfberg posted in Usability Testing, ux, Customer Happiness, Surveys

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

At HubSpot, we are often gathering feedback from our customers. We give users opportunities to provide it while in the actual software, as well as quarterly customer happiness surveys. Once collected, this data is readily available for the entire company, and I was on a mission to use it.

Have you ever filled out a survey and felt like no one was really looking at the results? This is pretty common when happiness surveys are sent out via email to a large customer base for any website, software or store. This is no different at HubSpot - some customers assume it’s sent out and collected by a third party with no real pull. While this is not the case (we have an employee dedicated to analyzing these surveys), there is no real follow-up with the customers after they provide these thoughts. That’s where the user research team comes in.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]