Customers’ tastes change rapidly and continually. Style, fashion, and other trends affect industries across the board, like food, clothing, automobile, appliance, computer, gaming, airline, and much, much more. The rate of change varies within the industries, but no one can avoid the transformations forever. Competitors and new technologies can redefine an industry or product category within a short amount of time, sometimes only a few months.
Product testing helps your business and your product stay ahead of the competition and the market if structured as an ongoing, strategic activity. Do not limit yourself to products only either. Service-based businesses stand to improve greatly from controlled testing as well. Simply think about the following information in the context of providing a service rather than selling a product.
What is Product Testing?
Product testing, also known as consumer testing or product optimization, is an essential type of Pathwwway research that evaluates the performance and properties of your products. The necessity of product examination appeared with the advent of commercial marketing and branded products. Manufacturers and distributors make claims about their products during advertisements with the promise that every product will exhibit the same technical properties. These claims may serve the interest of the distributor by increasing sales, but not necessarily the consumer if the claims turn out to be untrue.
Product testing double checks these claims to protect consumers from companies falsely advertising their products, or inconsistencies between individual items. Government agencies, independent laboratories, consumer protection groups, manufacturers, and distributors are all able to perform testing, but business owners who manufacture their own products tend to benefit the most.
How Does Product Testing Work?
The types of tests performed on a product depend solely on the kind of product and its intended purpose. Tests occur using either waterfall or agile methodology. Waterfall methodology means testing happens after the entire completion of product development. Agile methodology means testing begins immediately after you build the functioning aspect of the product. Once you establish when you will test your product, you need to figure out how.
Several methods exist for testing products and their necessity differs between products. Some require unit tests before the formal testing stage begins where investigators test a small portion of the product that is able to perform its duty from beginning to end. It does not focus on any other features than the one being tested at the time.
Another useful method, especially for software and hardware developers, is the test case. A test case looks into how a user interacts with each individual feature with the goal of finding any possible situations the developer neglected to consider. A test case reveals holes in a product’s design in every scenario a consumer may use it.
These test cases lead into additional environmental testing. The development team uses the product in every type of environment where your product could possibly be used. The term environment is not restricted to a physical space and the definition varies as much as the products being tested. A software program’s environment includes various operating systems and browsers whereas a medical environment could include the severity or location of a patient’s symptoms.
Sometimes you simply want to test new features on an old product, not create an entirely new product from scratch. Regression testing allows you to check that new features do not disable, impede, or cause any other unintentional impacts on the product’s older features. If you will continue to make improvements or changes to a product, you can consider automated testing. Automated testing performs regression testing every time you update your product to ensure all previous functions still work.
Finally, the best kind of testing involves actually putting your product in the hands of potential users. Usability testing lets real consumers give direct feedback after interacting with your product. Pathwwway product testing advises that you let them try the product in a controlled environment where you monitor and record their reactions. You can better take advantage of usability testing if you conduct these kinds of test earlier in the testing process, rather than after you reach the final phase.
What Can You Learn From Product Testing?
The point of product testing is to investigate the quality of a product and the validity of marketing claims made about the product, but it can also reveal further practical information. Testing reveals whether the product meets the contract, regulation, and specification requirements as recommended by the industry. It can help determine proof of concept for a new product in development along with validating the design matches the purpose.
Learn standard data about your product that can be applied to quality assurance, engineering, and other scientific functions. Product testing gives you a base for technical communication to more clearly compare your product with similar ones. It can help solve current technical problems with the product being tested, or help identify areas or design changes that could provide potential cost savings in the that and other products.
See if the product holds up after a certain amount of time with shelf-life studies, so you know how long it will last, known as the product’s shelf-life. You can compare the quality of products manufactured in different factories to know who to trust with the building of your product and who not to trust.
Testing can also be used to investigate more than just the quality or design of the product. Use the data to predict whether customers will accept a new product line or even the optimal combination of features and ingredients within your specified profit goal or price point. Maybe you can take out a few features and still charge the same price, or maybe you need to lower the price a little to sell more products in the long run. Either way, a controlled test will reveal what you need to know.
All in all the usefulness of testing cannot be underrated. Once you gain all this knowledge about your product, if something happens and legal proceedings occur, you already have a wealth of evidence proving product claims, patent, product liability, etc.