At crypto startup, Pillar, in 2018, I initiated an extensive user research and testing program. I spoke to hundreds of people during a crypto craze, and built out personas when very little info existed. These were originally published on uxdesign.cc. Several crypto firms reached out after publication. I maintain an active interest in cryptocurrency, and consult from time to time.
We don't know who the user is, and we are not validating our designs early enough.
I built a full “user testing lab” from scratch. I evolved a series of personas out of this research. Valuable insights were gleaned, which led to direct changes in the app.
(I think it's the best guide written on the topic...)
Mobile User Testing
In order to validate our designs, I bought test phones and built special camera sleds for them. I eventually trained a small team of colleagues how to use the equipment, wrote interview scripts, and conducted multiple user test sessions at a week-long conference.
Building a Test Phone
I am quite proud to have engineered a usability testing sled for a growing startup. After fine-tuning the setup and testing with dozens of users, I wrote up everything I had learned for uxdesign.cc. This covers equipment, software, and interview technique.
Here is a brief gallery, showing how the rig was built and used.
I've also included a video we shot for Pillar, in which I talk about testing the Pillar Wallet.