User experience evaluation models have become a widespread practice in responsive web design platforms, particularly for start-ups, small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs – implementing user-facing design products, services and applications. To excel in today’s data-driven way of making business decisions, there are four aspects of USER evaluation model that need to be adopted by start-ups, small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs to gain a superior competitive advantage against the well-established counterparts in the marketplace, which they operate. These fours aspects of the USER evaluation model are usability, success, excellence, and reliability.
According to usability.gov, usability testing refers to “evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. Typically, during a test, participants will try to complete typical tasks while observers watch, listen and takes notes. The goal is to identify any usability problems, collect data and determine the participant’s satisfaction with the product.”
Similarly, Wikipedia also states that “in all cases, however, there are certain aspects of user experience that researchers are interested in (measures), and certain procedures and techniques used for collecting the data (methods). There are many measures and some high-level constructs of user experience that can be used as the basis for defining the user experience measures.”
Following on the same line of thoughts, it can be argued that usability measures how effectively users utilise the mobile web platforms to achieve their goals, from start to finish. By properly managing the touchpoints, businesses can reduce the number of expenditures while improving the productivity and maximising profit margins.
As a result, many organisations are starting to adopt the usability testing as part of their user experience practice – through the implementation of a user-centred design (UCD) methodology, allowing designers and developers a freedom to interact directly with the users while building the mobile web platforms.
Success in this context means an attempt in achieving superior competitive advantage whilst creating more value and gaining a good reputation over the usability aspect of the mobile web platforms. As a result, conducting a user research is now something that most successful brands across the world strive to improve user experience practice and ultimately their bottom line. User experience practice is increasingly becoming a critical factor to improve efficiencies and productivity for sustainable and profitable businesses.
User research is forever evolving and continuously improving user experience practice across different industries – monitoring business touchpoints, seamlessly using omnichannel approaches. This includes providing regular insights into user behaviour, interaction, and managing expectations a fast-changing pace of the digital world of open source ecosystem.
We are now living in a new world order defined by value creation as a measure of business success driven by data-driven business models. The lack of adopting user experience practice when bringing products to the marketplace is sometimes viewed as the reasons start-ups and small businesses are unable to sustain their businesses over a longer term. Through the adoption of user research as a new discipline, start-ups and small businesses can improve efficiencies whilst create a new revenue stream and reduce the costs of production.
Improving the understanding of how start-ups and small businesses successfully deploy and manage new products and services – consistently throughout the technology lifecycle by adopting user-centred design (UCD) or user-driven development (UDD) framework, is what defines excellence within the new business development cycles.
This is driven by open source ecosystem, best practices, and strategies implemented by SMMEs at various levels of business touchpoints and integrated seamlessly across communication channels in honour of business excellence in the marketplace.
User research institute recognises excellence in digital products, and services, which aims to bring valuable lessons from the leading organisations and institutions of mastery in user experience practice. This includes collaborating and learning from global experts, coaches and mentors, which are selected for their design excellence and top-notch leadership qualities in this new area of user research discipline. The key focus areas are skills development, and working through a series of various technology disciplines – covering: user research, interactive design and development platforms, prototyping, piloting, testing, user interface and user experience design.
The world’s top brands have long adopted user experience design excellence, recognising consumer products and digital services that offer important levels of differentiation from their competitors. User experience design excellence includes proving product and service differentiation, convenience and preferences from every aspect of industry disciplines, working together to achieve a common goal. To achieve unparalleled user experience design excellence, collaboration is required between researchers, innovators, designers, developers, engineers, scientists, and experienced professionals to build a core foundation of business excellence.
Making mobile web platforms simpler, cheaper and faster to deploy can significantly decrease time to market while improving the user experience of new products, services and applications across various business environments.
USER evaluation model comprises usability, success, excellence and most importantly the reliability aspects of user experience practice when bringing new products and services to the marketplace. The purpose of this model is to determine the reliability of the new products and services, which have been developed based on the principles of user research as a new discipline for start-ups and small business.
The goal is to ensure that the results and findings of user research are as impartial as possible to provide reliable inputs to the start-ups and small businesses communities. However, bias is sometimes very tricky – often introduced unknowingly. Therefore, it is important to collaborate with other key experts in the field, make educated planning about the research sessions to be undertaken – measure, evaluate and analyse the adapted user research process framework: plan, research, design, adapt, measure and monitor.
Improving user research methodologies expands the toolsets, providing more reliable and versatile ways of working with users of the mobile web platforms. It is important to keep in mind that there are too many aspects to user research methodologies. The aim of user research is to understand the users of the mobile web platforms. The best way to achieve this milestone is to focus carefully on user research methodologies that address the core challenges affecting the users at a given point – no size fits all approach.
To improve the reliability of user research results and findings, it’s important for the lab test sessions to take place at the company’s spare office or conference room or home office. It should be a very quiet place with minimum noise levels. There should be good network coverage and electricity plug sockets to connect the machines and monitors for data analysis, visualisation and sharing of information. Alternatively, the test session can also be conducted remotely using online collaborative tools, which are reliable and suitable for the intended tasks.
The game plan is a measure of the consistency of the user research metrics and the deployment of preferred methodologies. User research metrics or methodologies used, including tools and techniques for uncovering usability problems over mobile web platform, must be assessed for reliability to validate user research results whilst eliminating erroneous sources of research findings and biases.
HINT: USER evaluation model has been adapted from a well-known traditional model – developed by Daniel Stufflebeam in the 1960s, named: CIPP evaluation model. Daniel Stufflebeam defines four aspects of his model as CIPP: context, input, process and product. Thembayena Mgozi defines four aspects of his model as USER: usability, success, excellence and reliability.