We caught up with Anthony, UI/UX designer for Flight Centre, to see how user experience and user testing comes into his day-to-day work life. The team at Flight Centre are looking at releasing a handful of new features into their app to make the user experience immaculate. Features like itineraries, the ability to book hotels and talking to a consultant through chat. This massive shift requires research, hard hours and validation, which is why user testing is so valuable.

Anthony’s team run an annual user research study looking into broad areas within their customers, internal stakeholders and consultants. In between these studies they bring into play user testing to help validate assumptions and pass as many iterations through users as possible. Anthony follows the Lean UX principle to a tee; test as you go. To test the app, his team follow a cycle of build, test and learn, which is familiar to a lot of UX designers. When testing, Anthony says “Look around, get on your feet and user test in your spare time in places your audience will be. All it takes to start is someone who ignites curiosity.”

Anthony and his team ignited curiosity when they identified a problem with specificities for their app, noticing that there markets are too broad. So he took initiative to identify and fit into target markets that truly need their services and address all pain points in one tool. For example, one user may have limited knowledge about travelling to Russia, whereas another could have family there, meaning they fly all the time. Both still want help travelling, but the complexity of travel differs and so do the pain points.

“The more complex things are, the more help they need from an agent whereas the more simple things are, the more they want to use the app.”

When creating something that caters for both types of users, you still need to continuously check, recheck and check again, because user activities can change instantly. “At the end of every experience for us [Flight Centre], we use a survey to check how our users’ experience was” says Anthony. For the users that fill out the survey, it’s a great indication of where the market is currently sitting and whether Anthony and his team need to look into any changes to their digital efforts. User testing sheds light on what those changes should be and how they can vastly improve their user experience.

Anthony reiterates that the important thing to remember is,

“…you don’t need a huge budget to user test and finding your niche is the best place to start.”

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Top tips from Anthony on running your user test

Time is of the essence
Anything that you think will take X long to do, make that X times 2! Everything always takes longer than anticipated.

Minimise bias
Get someone else to review your recording to gather their own findings. Two sets of eyes are always better than one.

Rapport and relationships
Build rapport with your users prior to testing and develop an understanding that they know you don’t know what they’re thinking, but their feedback is extremely valuable.