User Testing: The Tippy Test

Testing the user experience of your website is a little daunting. After endless hours of finessing your landing page call-to-actions, perfecting your cart experience, and prepping your order confirmation emails, you're finally ready to pull the traffic lever with some paid media traffic. But there's a nagging feeling in your stomach. It's the feeling that you just designed your entire website, or perhaps your entire company in a vacuum. 

Sure, you had meetings about it. A lot of meetings in fact. You and your fellow co-workers crammed yourselves into airless conference rooms and stuffed your faces full of wireframes on whiteboards. You argued, you clapped, you sighed. Until one day, you were finally ready to launch that big update. You tell yourself that if you get it out on time, you'll see traffic numbers soar, bounce rates drop, and conversion rates rejoice. Except every time your finger dances on the 'launch' button, you panic. Why? You panic because you just invested an enormous amount of energy and money in an echo chamber and have yet to see or hear what anyone outside of your company actually thinks about your new site experience. 

This, my friends, is where the tippy test comes in. Every summer, campers gather in boathouses stacked on sparkly lakes where they nervously grip their life preservers and wait on the dock for their tippy test to begin. A tippy test is when you take a canoe out into lake and purposely capsize it, then flip it back over, and hop back in. It's a crucial moment that determines your competence in the water. Are you ready to handle a boat on your own? Do you panic in that moment of uncertainty when you're treading cold lake water and awkwardly pushing the boat right side up? Or, are you at ease in this test of strength? In a singular moment, you either paddle back to shore with total confidence, or total insecurity. That's the very same resolve you get with user testing. 

User testing helps safeguard against getting out into the middle of the lake and realizing you never learned how to swim. In just a few short minutes, you know whether or not your new experience will sink or swim out in the wild. Before a project launches you're insecure. You need validation. You're vulnerable and it's easy to avoid criticism. It's scary to open yourself up to zingers, but once you send your site off to the user testing ethers, you'll come back with SOMETHING. Whether that something delays your launch for another week, or tells you you're a genius, at least you know you can float

If you're looking for help with user testing, or a fresh set of eyes for website conversion optimization, give us a shout. If you're looking for tools to do your own testing, we like to use User Testing. If you're looking for a great summer camp to do a tippy test, our hearts belong to Camp Dudley.