Thank you Vadim!
Miriam Isaac

We ensure that we don’t make the user think, by making the design frictionless, essentially improving/perfecting the usability of products we design. But in order to improve usability, we need to identify issues with our designs, and it’s difficult (to impossible) to do with unstructured user testing.

There are different goals for conducting user testing, depending on a design stage, and it’s perfectly fine to give a prototype to users to play with, if your goal as a designer, is to learn what they make out of your prototype — can they understand the idea/concept, where would they click first, etc. But if you’re trying to identify usability issues in order to improve your design, you need to have a structured user testing — create tasks and scenarios, and moderate the study in such way, so all your participants go through the same scenarios.

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