When it comes to creating a digital product, testing and validating your ideas is one of the most important things you can do. You can imagine how many startups failed because they didn’t invest enough time and effort into research. More often than not, without proper research, the idea doesn’t sufficiently respond to the market’s needs. So, what can you do about it? What are some testing and validating methods you can use to increase your chances of success? Let’s dive in.

1. Use UX Canvases

UX Designers have developed outstanding tools to aid their everyday work. And you can use them too. Some of the best canvases to use are the User Persona Canvas, the Context Map Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas. When using all of them in the context of your idea and business, you will get a clearer view of how your product is positioned on the market, which niche it falls into and how it can fulfil the users’ needs. Canvases are tools that you can use alone but it’s best to complete them with your team. It’s also one of the cheapest validation methods because all you need is some free time and engagement from the team.

2. Conduct IDIs

IDIs (in-depth interviews) are one of the very best ways of getting qualitative data. The interviews are conducted one-on-one with someone who represents your target group. They can either be done face-to-face, online or via a phone call. Although, if you’re not very experienced we recommend trying to do them face-to-face. IDIs will help you get deeper into the issues you might have identified before and will bring you specific insights into your idea. It’s best to conduct IDIs after doing some quantitative research so that you can get clearer understanding of why the numbers are a certain way. You can read more about conducting IDIs in our article about qualitative research for startups.

3. Prototype & Test

When in doubt, prototype! It’s not an actual saying but creating a prototype and inviting users to test it is one of the best ways to get meaningful feedback. The best part is that prototyping can be extremely cheap and quick. Sure, some people invest in high-fidelity prototypes but there’s no need for that when your goal is just to gather initial feedback. You can even make a prototype with a piece of paper or an online tool like InVision. Prototypes are the quickest way to meaningfully validate concepts and get real user feedback. If you’re not at the stage of having some potential functionalities mapped out, you can test out smaller concepts like single screens etc. If you don’t know how to create a prototype, you can always contact an expert UX Designer to help you out. After you’ve prepared a prototype, you can use multiple testing methods to gather insights like A/B testing, interviews or field studies.

4. Do Quantitative Research

Besides methods like IDIs, focus groups or field studies, it’s also important to gather quantitative data. Having both qualitative and quantitative insights is crucial to get a full overview of the situation. If you don’t have much resources, quantitative research can still be done. There’s a lot of already existing data that you can access on each market and most audiences. This method of research is called desk research and it’s basically sitting at your desk, doing research. While it may not seem the most inventive, it’s still one of the most effective ways of gathering data and getting to know your industry in-depth.

If you’re looking for an expert team to help you validate, design and develop your product – contact us to get a free product consultation with one of our experts!