How do you take decisions on providing the users of your mobile application with new features?
Usually, application owners take the following steps - they ask designers to draw the wireframes/mock-ups of the functionality, make budget and timeline planning with the team, and assign the implementation to mobile developers to develop, test with the QA team, brush up and roll it out to users.
Then the company starts to gather analytics on how users perceive the feature, use it or not and what is the feedback in general. At first glance, the process is simple and straightforward, but in most cases, it takes a lot of time and money from “I came up with an idea” to “let’s analyze now the feedback from users”.
But there’s a way to save efforts & budgets, and it’s called Usability testing. This is an approach wisely used by Product managers to examine, whether users understand your new functionality and whether they need it at all.
Let's see how it works. You plan a new feature. In your view, it should enhance user experience, but there’s no data to confirm that. So you ask the designers to draw the flow. From the moment you have the mock-us you you have a proof of concept. Don’t rush immediately to implement it, no matter how much it appeals to you. It should be proved before, that your customers will also find it appealing.
Exactly at the stage of mock-ups, we assemble a focus group, give mockups to real people (a clickable prototype in Figma would be even preferable here) and carefully note users’ behavior. For example, users may find navigation not friendly enough, or missing parts of the process, they may even doubt if they need this functionality at all while they were expecting you to improve another feature. That means your product management team may need to simplify the idea, or neglect it and come up with a different one and test its prototype anew.
2-3-4 iterations might be required to describe and design the ideal flow. Now imagine how many re-development costs you may avoid by verifying your idea with the users.
By the way, If it seems to be difficult to assemble a focus group, I assure you that now there’re services and tools on the market that can do this for you (should there be a separate post on them?).
Remember that the success of your startup or existing application depends on your audience and their loyalty, while your app is provided to make their activities more enjoyable and solve their problems, so don’t be afraid to involve them in the UX creation process.