During the product development process, it’s important to gather feedback from potential customers to help determine a product’s viability in the marketplace. Many teams choose to use various methods of product testing to collect and analyze data from customers about a product’s key features or performance. If you’re interested in working in product development, you may want to learn more about the different types of product testing to help you be successful in your career.
In this article, we explain what product testing is, outline its importance, describe six common types of product testing and offer tips to help you conduct effective testing throughout the product development process.
Related: How To Become a Product Developer
What is product testing?
Product testing is a method of analyzing a product concept, feature or functionality to determine how potential customers may use or react to the product. It’s a common part of software development, though many companies use this type of testing to create and market products effectively to consumers. The testing process typically begins with a question to be answered, such as whether users may use a new feature on a mobile application. The product team then develops a hypothesis and tests their theory by using one or several testing methods.
Depending on the methodology of the product team, this testing may occur in various stages throughout the development process. Typically, product testing occurs within these methodologies:
Waterfall: Teams using a waterfall methodology often conduct product testing during the initial stages of a project to evaluate the product concept and market potential. Then, they complete other types of product testing once they’ve finished building the product.
Agile: This methodology encourages teams to conduct continuous product testing throughout all phases of development. Teams may use product testing to evaluate new ideas, test features for functionality and continually review the product even after its release.
Why is product testing important?
Product testing can help various members of the development team, including project managers, developers, testers and managers, measure the success of a product. Teams can use this type of testing to determine whether a product functions as expected or whether customers may find value in a new product feature. Specifically, product testing can help teams:
Gain insights: This type of testing can help teams gain valuable insights about customers’ needs and preferences, which can provide direction during the development process.
Improve products: By gathering and reviewing feedback during development, teams can use this input to improve products to meet customers’ expectations and requirements.
Save time: Product testing can help teams save time during development by identifying potential problems or risks early in the development process, before launching the product to consumers.
Achieve business goals: Teams can use product testing to help them understand the priorities of the product so they can achieve key business goals, such as attracting more customers or increasing revenue.