What is Usability Testessen?

Hey, its Friday! Who’s up for pizza and beer? OK then, who’s up for pizza, beer and bringing companies that work in the user experience and design field together?

That’s exactly what Kaiser X Labs (KXL) and Allianz did last week at an event called Usability Testessen, hosted this time by Mercedes Benz Consulting in Stuttgart. Usability Testessen is organised by a group of volunteers passionate about research. Each meeting takes place in different locations throughout Germany and is free to all participants. Our result was a fun and successful experience that we wanted to share with you.

On Friday, July 24, 2018, a team of KXL researchers and designers from our Stuttgart office together with our Allianz colleagues paired up to test one of our retirement products we have been developing. At this Testessen event prototypes, software, apps or website can test their value and merchantability along-side a party-style buffet of pizza and beer. Sounds good right? The testing happens in a musical chairs sort of way, limiting the amount of time users have at each table, and in return how much time each product has with the user. This kind of ‘speed-dating’ based research happens every two months and it is held in changing locations by different hosts. Each event includes many different companies, each who bring something to test. These can be anything from early stage concepts to get a feel of the general acceptance, wireframes to get early feedback, to almost finished products that are looking to iron out the details. Both companies and participants are required to sign up in advance. (interested already? Click here to learn more)

Our Testessen event last week included a mix of companies which ranged from student project start-ups, to those already well established. Some of the other prototypes being tested from other companies at our event included:

- VR/AR experience of a new car

- car configuration software

- prototype for customer communication via WhatsApp

- document management system for repairmen/craftsmen

- kitchen planning software

- retirement planning tool

So, how exactly does this kind of user testing work?

test session in progress

Each company sets up a table with something to test, each table has 12 minutes to test with 6 different participants and each participant receives a roster of 6 stations. At the KXL table we shared an early wireframe-based prototype from the core function of an Allianz retirement portal. This was not a finished concept but four key pages. The retirement portal we tested offers the users possibilities to add retirement products and solutions to their account and has a playful visual representation of how these products impact the users overall retirement package.

So, what’s the take-away?

We left with new insights, full stomachs and our ideas confirmed. Some of the insights that we received during this testing event was that; 20–30 year olds view their retirement as indeed very far away and they presented with a large amount of uncertainty. It showed us that a product like the one we tested would be very positively welcomed. We learned that it would be helpful in clearing up some common uncertainties, and in fact that it would offer a sense of security and deeper understanding. We also learned that there is a possibility to add 3rd party contracts and other financial information regarding options outside of retirement, e.g. rent or property. The biggest insight from this testing was that a tool in this form, something that easily guides that user towards a better and more secure future, was greatly appreciated.

This was a first time experience for KXL/Allianz at the Mercedes Benz Consulting’s Testessen event, and the overall take away was overwhelmingly positive; it was insightful and offered a relaxed but professional atmosphere to all guests. Stuttgart’s Testessen event offered valuable feedback, the opportunity to network and meet interesting people, and the ability to see what others are up to. Kaiser X Labs practices different forms of research and testing all the time, through all projects that we work on. This testing was a fun collaboration to take part in and we would happily do it again, even without the pizza and beer. (but that would be just silly, wouldn’t it?)

Photographed from left UX/UI designer-Leon Schlechtriem, Research & Strategist-Franziska Enz, Senior UX Designer-Simon Seidl and Market Managment for Allianz Deutschland-Marc Gilbert.