Early or late stage user testing – what’s better?

User testing. You can do at any moment. Early, late, and anywhere in between. But what’s the difference between early and late stage testing? And why is important to show your designs to customers at the right time?


The golden rule

The sooner you do a user research, the better. That’s the golden rule

The reason for this is simple: the sooner you spot problems in the concept of your site or app, the cheaper it is to fix them. But it’s not just about money, it’s about time as well. If you locate problems early on, you simply have more time to find the right solution. In other word: by testing early you minimalize risk of failure.

Wether you make a new product or redesign an existing one, the golden rule always applies. It’s crucial to take the time to discover what your audience wants and needs. Show your ideas to your customers, ask them for feedback, and discover what resonates and what is still lacking.

But it doesn’t end with early stage testing.


Keep testing

UX research in the first stage of your product’s development has an explorative character. It’s about wants and needs. About deeper-lying problems. About testing new ideas. User testing in a later stage is much more about usability and refining of what you have built. How can we improve the current product? Which features don’t work the way they should? And why?

Undoubtedly, your product has a bunch of shortcomings that need to be fixed. On top of that, expectations of your customer change over time – so it’s important to stay on top.


Test early and  late

Just one of the two is not enough. If you only test early, it could well be that you lose your users, because your product might not suit their ever-changing world anymore. If you only test later on in your development process, chances are your concept doesn’t match the deeper-lying needs of your customers at all.

So test early and late – that’s the real golden rule.

Need help setting up your UX research? Feel free to reach out.