On the 16th of May, Berlin Lean Startup organized the 11th Usability Fix meetup.
The idea is to test your new application (website, web-app, mobile-app, it doesn’t matter) before the launch to get user-feedback in an early stage. This way you probably avoid a lot development hours for features that are not interested for the user.
In words of Lean Startup, you create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that you test on a group of “potential” users that you have never seen before. Although they don’t have to be your exact target group, you will always get help-full feedback. It is an easy way “to get out of the building“.
In general a paper mock up is enough, so you don’t need any development to test your idea.
Source picture: startlean.de
In my case I took the occasion to test one of our long term projects, called Webwatchers. As we didn’t have to much time to prepare it but we were in the middle of the landingpages. You can say it is our MVP to test if potential clients are willing to subscribe to our service for marketing managers and business owners who need to do serious marketing.
Although the testers were mainly developers, designers, UX testers etc., the feedback we got is great and very helpful. It saves us at least one round of testing with real clients.
- Very efficient way to get out of the building
- You can test a mock up on paper with people you don’t know (and are often not afraid to demotivate you)
Disadvantage you may see is competition but don’t worry, as long as your product did not reach product market fit, there is not so much to worry. If there is a “competitor” that would like to copy your product in an early stage, you could take benefit of it by following his working features and only develop this features.
I see Usability Fix meetings as an excellent way to test project. Probably I will try to organize it in Poznan after the summer break.