Concept Testing in UX as a Part of Product Design
It’s when you get opinions from people about a notion or idea that concept testing enables you to validate a product, design, and marketing ideas earlier and save time and resources for moving forward with the proper concepts for the right products. By asking participants what they think about your concept, you can reduce the chance of launching a product that falls short of client expectations. It’s also a helpful instrument for figuring out product-market fit.
What is concept testing?
Asking customers about their opinions and ideas about a potential product or service before launching it on the market is a research technique called concept testing ux. So that you can make important decisions prior to the product launch, you can evaluate your market acceptance and buying readiness with the help of concept testing methods.
When to use concept testing
You can use it to check prices, product features, and even the ads you want to run, etc. You will avoid costly mistakes and become one of the lucky 5% who launch a successful product out of 95 % of failed product launches. Organizations and businesses use surveys to test concepts, making it an easy method for companies of all sizes.
The benefits of concept testing
Any new feature or product idea you develop will be a success with thorough UX concept testing. However, practically this may rarely happen at once, it’s not a miracle by itself. Customers are the only ones who can tell if an idea will succeed or fail. That’s why testing your concept and thoughts before offering anything ready to your clients is important.
The information gained from the concept testing will help you bring effective and successful products to the market. Concept testing can also provide you with a deeper understanding of multiple areas of your idea in the marketplace. You can learn about a certain function, look and feeling, pricing, and other features. As a result, you can verify the accuracy of each item before the product is ever released.
When to run a concept test
Fundamentally, the ultimate goal of concept testing is to determine whether buyers will actually purchase your product by observing how they react to it. By balancing features, cost, and usability, you are essentially asking users to design their perfect product. In order to sell downstream, we are acquiring information upstream.
Besides, concept testing can be applied at multiple stages of the product development process, such as during ideation, when prototyping, when defining marketing messaging, or just before the launch of the product stage.
What Artifacts Can You Use In Testing?
What are the results of testing artifacts? Test strategies, test cases, test scenarios, log files, and other products developed during software testing are known as test artifacts. Sharing these artifacts with the team and stakeholders is intended to prevent misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is clear on the test scope.
The research notes, sketches, PoC, design files, reports, readymade prototypes, and other documentation that design teams produce throughout a project are referred to as UX artifacts (or UX deliverables).
Usability test results, wireframes and prototypes, site maps, personas, and flowcharts are a few of the traditional deliverables that result from UX development.
Concept Testing Methods
Over the years, many different proof-of-concept methods have been developed and used by researchers. These methods are classified according to how concepts are represented. Each of these strategies is suitable for a particular type of research. Using a research platform makes it easier to test the concept. So, here are the four primary methods of concept testing:
- Comparison testing.
- Monadic testing.
- Sequential monadic testing.
- Proto-monadic testing.
1. Comparison Testing
Respondents receive two or more concepts during comparative testing. Respondents compare these concepts by rating or ranking questions, or simply choosing the best of the concepts presented.
Comparative tests give clear and understandable results. Determining which concept is better is not difficult. However, the results are out of context. It is impossible to know why respondents prefer one concept to another. Before you successfully release a product, it is very important to understand these details.
2. Monadic Testing
In this concept testing method, the target audience is divided into many groups in a monadic test. Each group gets only one concept. These exams focus on a thorough analysis of a particular idea. A monadic test poll is often short and focused.
Monadic test polls are short and allow researchers to ask a few clarifying questions. As a result, the answers provide a better explanation for why one concept is superior to another. However, since the target audience is divided into several categories, the sample size required to conduct a monadic test is large. Since several concepts need to be tested, the sample size is more important. Research costs rise sharply as the sample size increases.
Since each group of respondents sees a different concept, it is possible to go into great detail without making the survey too long. Researchers can ask clarifying questions about many of the characteristics of a concept, such as what they like about it, its appearance, price range, and so on. Although each group of respondents see different concepts separately, the follow-up questions for each concept will be the same.
3. Sequential Monadic Tests
Sequential monadic tests, like monadic tests, divide the intended audience into different groups. Instead of presenting one concept at a time, each group gets them all. Thus, to avoid bias, you randomize the order of the concepts. In addition, to obtain additional information, you will ask the respondents an identical set of clarifying questions on each of the topics.
A sequential monadic test only needs a small target audience because every group of respondents sees every notion. In one round, several ideas can be examined. Sequential monadic tests are therefore less expensive and simpler to implement. This test of concept approach is appropriate for research with a tight budget or with a small target audience.
If each group of respondents is presented with all concepts, the questionnaire is very long. This affects the percentage of completion and may cause a non-response bias. Limiting the number of questions allows researchers to shorten the length of the questionnaire. This, however, affects the depth of the collected ideas.
Other biases, such as interaction bias or similar, can affect sequential monadic testing results.
4. Protomonad Testing
The sequential monadic test is followed by a comparison test in the protomonadic test. Respondents are asked to explore numerous concepts before choosing the one they like.
This design is useful for checking the results of successive monadic tests. Researchers can also determine if the idea chosen in the comparison test is consistent with the information collected about each concept.
Once you’ve decided on a method, you’ll need to create a survey to take the test. Creating a poll and then using a block randomizer gives the best results. The next section will look at criteria and best practices for designing an effective concept testing survey.
Potential Pitfalls of Concept Testing
Idea testing can be costly and truly time-consuming, and they might not provide you with the precise information on solution you need to continue working on your project. The main issue with idea testing is by far this. For most firms, it is a challenging procedure due to the expense in terms of time, energy, money, and managerial resources.
Proper concept testing involves dissecting your idea and evaluating each component to see if it will work.
Tips for effective concept testing
Think about the following advice as you draft your concept testing survey questions to assist you get pertinent and useful customer input.
Outline your research aim
Clearly state your concept research’s purpose. Before developing any questions, it is crucial to specify the intention of your concept research. The type of questions and information you include in your survey will depend on whether or not you have clearly defined objectives.
Pick the method
Select the concept testing strategy that best fits your research. Concept testing uses a variety of approaches, and you must choose the one that will best help you achieve your goals. Use a single concept evaluation if you want responders to assess a single item or topic thoroughly.
Concept method selection should be used, nevertheless, if you need input on comparing two or more concepts. You might employ numerous techniques, and you should assess each to determine which is ideal for evaluating your problems.
Add inquiries about intended purchases
Concept testing is ultimately used to make sure that ideas are compelling enough to result in purchases. As a result, it’s crucial to include questions about your target market’s propensity to buy your product or service.
Apply concept testing at every stage of the product lifecycle
It’s better to test concepts across the whole product lifecycle continually. Idea testing is crucial for products at all phases of development. It should be done at every stage of the product lifecycle, not only before a new concept is introduced. This makes it possible for your business to make wiser judgments that will satisfy your target market.
Get opinions from a big audience. You might have a rough concept of who your target market is, but you will know for sure once you’ve gotten feedback from a wide range of people. After gathering input and determining the target demographic, you can tailor or improve your concept with this segment (or these segments) in mind.
Well-known examples of concept testing
Here is some marketing concept test example, both wins and fails:
How Tesla did purchase intent testing for a car that wasn’t designed yet? The Tesla Model 3 debuted back in 2017 and caused stir around the world. This was a very good proof of concept example. Tesla took a new approach to launch, concept testing, to get customer approval and fundraising.
Participants were introduced to the Model 3 concept car, not a car. They had the opportunity to make a deposit once they had become familiar with the vehicles various features and benefits. Through this method, Tesla was able to raise $400 million. This offered Tesla the assurance that their vehicle would be a success and the funding they required to start its development.
Thus, by conducting concept testing, Tesla was able to receive the valuable feedback from customers, as well as funding to continue their launch.
Since 1948 that NASCAR has ever existed, other than the introduction of faster vehicles, little was changing with them. The results of the races were revealed to the spectators. That is, until 2017 when NASCAR decided to change a few things up a bit to enhance the experience for racegoers better.
To keep viewers more interested throughout the races, they adopted a more football-like strategy by adding in-race scoring instead of only announcing times and winners at the finish line.
Also, NASCAR incorporated breaks, just like in a football game. TV stations now know when they may show commercials, and viewers know when they can use the restroom without missing one of them. This seemingly easy change produced a significant impact on the viewing experience.
Another case is how Google’s attempt to price the Google Glass failed the concept test.
With its team and resources, one would assume that Google is the king of idea testing. Yet, the results of their Google Glass product concept test were perhaps a little hazy.
One could argue that the wearable Google Glass was introduced before the target market was even prepared, but the $1,500 price tag for a product that was so new and hadn’t yet proven its worth to the target market didn’t help. In particular, if you don’t actually need to wear glasses, you don’t want to spend a lot of money, and there wasn’t really a meaningful competition to compare the price to – so most consumers just skipped it, naturally.
As you can see from the concept testing examples, it’s important to test your idea in your target market to determine what will work and what won’t before you go live. Concept testing can help you improve your product development and marketing strategy, reduce the time it takes to bring a product to market and launch your product, and ensure customer and manager satisfaction and beyond. And any example of concept testing can prove that.
Luckily, there’s always a choice between in-house concept testing and outsourcing to a professional UI/UX Design Services firm. Which is better in your case ultimately depends on the resources and expertise available within the company. If the company has a team with the necessary skills and experience, they can conduct excellent concept testing internally. However, if the company lacks in-house expertise or resources, outsourcing to a professional company can provide access to a dream team of experts who can conduct a thorough and efficient ux concept testing process for any project idea. Just give it a try.