It is the job of user experience (UX) designers to create products that not only function well but also delight and satisfy the needs and desires of their clients’ users. One way to do this is through desirability testing, a valuable UX method for understanding and measuring user desires in the design process. In this article, you will learn extra about what the desirability factor is, how it fits into the UX design procedure, and how to conduct effective desirability tests.

What is desirability testing in UX?

Desirability testing is a UX research method that focuses on understanding and measuring user desires and preferences about a product or service. It’s different from other user experience research methods like usability testing, which measures how well product functions and performs specific tasks, or accessibility testing, which checks whether a product is usable by people with disabilities.

Desirability testing is concerned with the emotional and psychological response users have to a product. It’s about finding out what users like, dislikes, and are willing to pay for in a product, and using that information to create a design that meets their desires.

Why is desirability testing important in UX Design?

In the UX design process, it’s important to consider both the functional and emotional aspects of a product. While usability testing helps ensure that a product performs well and meets the basic needs of users, desirability testing helps make sure that the product also resonates with users on an emotional level and meets their desires.

Think about it this way: a product can be perfectly functional, but if it doesn’t appeal to users or meet their desires in some way, they may not be motivated to use it. On the other hand, a product that is emotionally appealing and meets user desires can be more successful, even if it has some functional flaws.

Desirability testing helps UX designers create products that users not only need but also want. It allows designers to understand what users value and what makes a product desirable to them, so they can incorporate those elements into the design.

When to conduct desirability testing in UX

Desirability testing can be conducted at any stage of the UX design process, but it’s most effective when it’s done early on. This is because it can provide valuable insights that can inform the design direction and help shape the overall product vision.

For example, if you’re working on a redesign of a website, you might conduct desirability testing at the beginning of the project to understand what users like and dislike about the current design, and what they would like to see in the new design. This can help you create a design that meets user needs and desires from the start, rather than trying to add desirable elements later on.

How a popular UX agency conducts desirability testing

There are several methods for conducting desirability testing and research in UX, and the best one for your project will depend on your goals and resources. Here are a few common methods employed by a popular UX agency:

Surveys: Surveys are a quick and easy way to gather feedback from a huge number of users. A UX agency can use several tools to create a survey and distribute it to a group of users. Make sure to ask questions that relate to users’ desires and preferences, such as what they like and dislike about the product, what features they would like to observe, and what they would be willing to pay for.

Interviews: Interviews are a more in-depth method of gathering feedback from users. They can be conducted in person or over the phone, and with open-ended questions to get a more detailed understanding of users’ desires and preferences.

The Microsoft Reaction Card method: Developed in the early 2000s, it is a commonly used UX method for desirability testing, especially in software design. It involves participating users describing a product or a design based on a list made up of 118 different words. Each card represents one word, which users need to pick out after viewing several different versions of a design. The moderator employed by the UX agency will then ask why they chose to describe the design the way they did.

What needs to happen before the desirability testing can be conducted by the UX agency?

The UX agency will discuss your goals with you and create several different design versions to make sure you get the most relevant result out of desirability testing. The agency will also ask you to clearly define your brand beforehand and to choose which design versions you want to test, to make sure your users are presented with prototypes that accurately represent the values of your brand.