Testing and User trials
Smart products and services are tested in digital, standardized and authentic environments. Universities of applied sciences, cities and assisted living units plan and carry out testing of digital products and services for companies. Tests are carried out in simulation environments of universities of applied sciences and cities, and in real-life usage contexts. Testing contributes to the company’s service and product development and provides a reference for placing on the market and marketing.
Testing is defined here as both testing and user trials. Testers are, depending on the case, students, professionals, clients and/or their family members. A testing plan and a contract between the provider of the testing service and the company shall always be made in advance. Testing will be prepared, carried out and finalized. The duration of tests varies, on the basis of the solution, from a few days to several months.
In the preparatory phase, testing objectives and methods to collect user data are defined. Testers are recruited in the testing environment. Test participants are informed and their consent forms are collected, if applicable. Necessary preparations, such as electricity works, installation of sensors and devices and creating of user identifications are made in the test environment. The participants are introduced to the use of the product or service, and the necessary instructions are drafted.
In the implementation phase, the test participants use the product or service as planned and provide their user data as instructed. If applicable, testers are provided with support, and possible problems situations are solved so that the testing can proceed as planned.
In the finalization phase, the collected user data is analysed and discussed together with the company. All test environment installations, such as the testing devices, are dismantled and removed. The company is asked to provide feedback on the testing service for the development of testing activities. The company may use testing as a reference for user-driven product or service development.
Several testings and user tests were carried out in HIPPA project. On the basis of these, we have created a model for organising the testing process. To streamline the testing process, we have drafted forms for the management of the entire process. Our experience has shown that thorough preparation greatly contributes to a successful testing or user test.
Kirsi Jokinen / Oulu UAS, Jaana Kokko / City of Oulu, Suvi Hagström and Tarja Heinonen / Tampere UAS
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