User experience (UX) design refers to the experience or feeling users have when using a product. It is a critical element for any tech a company develops. If the UX isn’t up to the mark, fast and intuitive, then several users might simply never use it again and shift to tech with better and easier UX design. As a result, whenever a company develops new technology, it is necessary to test the products using real users to detect any issues or errors.

However, testing UX while the development phase is ongoing leaves the company in a vulnerable position, as users are aware of what product is being developed before it is officially released. This makes it crucial for developers to test UX without giving away too much sensitive information.

Here are a few tips to ensure safe and effective testing of your new tech’s UX:

1. Create A Team Of Experienced Researchers
It is crucial to recruit a team of experienced UX researchers that can help test and confirm ideas, prototypes and new features. This will help you develop the best UX and also ensure that you are investing time and money to develop the correct product and will also increase the speed of development.

2. Have ‘Nondevelopment’ Team Members Test It
UX is a critical aspect of product design. Great UX enables users to have a satisfying and convenient experience which helps establish trust with the brand. Bad or poor UX can lead to the exact opposite results. Although UX must be in a continuous state of flux and incrementally improved upon, an excellent method to test UX before it is presented to real users is to run it by ‘nondevelopment’ team members and work off their feedback. This can often produce incredibly valuable results. 

3. Form A Test Group For Your Target Market
Choose the test group in your target market segment for giving early access. Make sure to include design partners and ensure that at least half of them are not existing customers. The intention of product launches and upgrades is to generate new revenue sources from new customers, so do not allow bias to creep into feedback by selecting existing customers.

4. Stub Your Data
It is very difficult to recreate a great user experience. It has become much easier to steal data. Prototyping tools such as Sketch and InVision now support stub data: a dynamic, lifelike dataset you can feed to all the UX work. This enables UX developers to design experiences that are specific to their customers without revealing sensitive company information.

5. Create A White Label Product
Effective UX testing is not about concealing the UX. Rather, it deals with concealing the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the product(s). Testing incomplete UX is pointless, instead, create a white label product, run tests on it and then fill it in later.

6. Create Online Focus Groups
When dealing with software projects, it is best to create an online group where people are paid to use the product. Ensure that they record their use session and send it to you for video analysis. They can also be given a nondisclosure agreement to sign in order to ensure that information about the project is not leaked.

7. Send Wireframes To Clients
Wireframes are great for clients. Converse with the clients regarding placement or complex menu designs and ask for feedback on how it can be simplified or if it even makes sense to them. If there is a substantial amount of criticism, you may have to rethink and consider a new path. If the majority of clients agree that it makes sense, do not deviate from what has been made and leave room for improvements.

8. Rely On A Small Community
A UX solution is supposed to solve challenges related to the workflow without giving away the issues that drive the solution. To avoid disclosing these issues, share your solutions with a small, trusted group of people using a product development community tool. This will allow you to successfully iterate during the development phase and helps to identify more issues you did not know about.

9. Let Non-Tech-Oriented Real Users Try It Out
Without divulging critical information, one of the best and most effective methods of testing UX while developing a consumer product is to give it for testing to someone that is in a completely unrelated field to the product but is a potential end-user. This can be a 6-year-old child or even a senior parent or friend, if they are able to use the product with ease and simplicity, then the product functions as intended.

10. Get Feedback On What You’re Not Going To Do
Receive feedback on what you are not planning to do. What this means is, you should ask customers or users for feedback on a ‘basic’ prototype (digital or even on paper) about a design or concept that you are not likely to implement. Assess the feedback to see if it aligns with your thesis about the problem and whether or not the solution proposed by you fixes it.