UX content and UX testing results are like an image and its reflection in a mirror. Learn how to test UX content and discover four ways to check if the image and the reflection match.
UX content and UX testing results are like an image and its reflection in a mirror. To see what the UX content —microcopy— is, you need to put it in front of the user’s mirror and observe the reflection.
Users are the only ones who can point out to you what a reflection of your UX content is.
However, they don’t tell us not only about the reflection but the echo too. That’s why we need to ask them for feedback, analyse it, and listen to how our microcopy sounds.
In this post, you’ll discover five ways to perform microcopy testing. You’ll also learn how to test your UX content and make sure the “microcopy image” and its reflection in the mirror match.
Table of Contents
How to test UX content
There are many ways to test your UX content, such as:
Nevertheless, only a few of them provide you with straightforward and unambiguous results.
Now, let’s go through four tests you can perform to check if your microcopy looks and sounds as it should:
- Cloze deletion test
- Card sorting test
- Highlighter test
- Comprehension survey
Cloze deletion test: finding the right expressions
A cloze deletion test is a UX content testing method you can apply to find the most appropriate terms and expressions in a particular context.
This method resembles a fill-in-the-blanks exercise that’s usually carried out in schools.
When to run a cloze deletion test: You should run a cloze deletion test when you’re not sure what expression to use in your microcopy, or you have doubts if your actual word choice is the most appropriate one.
How to run a cloze deletion test: To run a cloze deletion test, you need to remove from your UX content all the expressions whose adequacy you want to test. Those expressions represent the cloze text.
The test consists of restoring the missing words. The participants can restore the words in two ways:
- Objective cloze test – Multiple choice answers;
- Subjective cloze test – Their best guess about the missing words.
Card sorting test: testing the information architecture
A card sorting test is a method you can use to test the relevance of different aspects of the UX content.
It’s also a way to enhance your microcopy information architecture.
When to run a card sorting test: You should run a card sorting test when there’s a need to validate if user interface organisation, structuring, and labelling are efficient.
How to run a card sorting test: To run a card sorting test, you need to choose a type of study (open card sort, close card sort or hybrid card sort) and a technique (one-on-one or group technique), prepare the cards and establish the number of participants.
Highlighting test: testing brand voice and tone
A highlighting test is a method you can use to check how your UX content sounds and which response it would get.
The method consists of using colours to mark different parts of the text, according to the previously determined meaning of each colour.
When to run a highlighting test: You should run a highlighting test when you’re not sure if your brand voice and tone match. Another situation, you have doubts if you adjust the tone correctly when speaking to users on specific touchpoints.
How to run a highlighting test: To run a highlighting test, you need to determine the characteristics you would like to test. For example, if the microcopy instils confidence, if it sounds convincing, etc.
The second step, you need to explain to the participants what colour they should use for which part of the text. Let’s say green is for the sentences that instil confidence, red for the ones that don’t, yellow for the neutral part of the text.
Comprehension survey: testing the level of clarity
A comprehension survey provides you with the fourth response on how to test your UX content.
This time, it’s about checking if participants fully understand the meaning of your microcopy and the instructions you give to them.
When to run a comprehension survey: A comprehension survey works very well to test if the participants understand which part of the user interface they are in and whether the instructions are clear to them.
How to run a comprehension survey: To run a comprehension survey, you need to determine the values that participants must understand. For example:
- Their current location in the user interface (where are they in a specific moment);
- Their next step (what is the next step they need to take).
Choosing the right testing method
Now, let’s recall the most important aspects of the microcopy testing process.
Whether you wrote the UX content by yourself or a UX writer helped you with the content, you need to test it.
If you don’t perform UX testing, it would be like standing in front of a mirror with your eyes closed, refusing to face the expression.
But before opening the eyes, don’t forget to define values to be tested.
Unless you define them, you won’t be able to decide how to test your UX content (how to choose the mirror).
Finally, make sure that a minimum number of participants agree to take part in the testing process (the number itself varies depending on the test).
If you can’t ensure the minimum number of participants, the reflection probably won’t match the image. It would be like standing in front of a funny mirror.
In the end, even if you perform accurate UX testing, you may still get an undesired reflection.
Don’t worry about that. It’s just the sign you still need to work on your UX content.
A Writing-Friendly Question: How would you test the UX content?
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