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What to expect from a UX testing study

UX testing – otherwise known as user testing, usability testing and/or user experience testing – probably sounds a little tech-y to the non-tuned ear. However, it’s actually just a simple (though super-important) market research method researchers use to understand what consumers do, and why they do it.

This means researchers can really sink their teeth into how good or bad a user’s experience is of a website or app and find ways of making this experience as enjoyable as possible. This way, brands can be sure consumers will return to them time and time again, rather than diverting to their competitors.

Of course, none of this can happen without users to test the brand’s websites and apps out in the first place – which is where you come in! So without further ado, here’s the low-down on what you can expect once you’re set to take part in a UX testing study.

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What will happen on the day?

You’ll be asked to take on a few tasks on the app or website and be observed either by a researcher, or through a recording of your activity via specialist software. Don’t worry, it’s not a test of your ability – it’s just to see what your likes and dislikes are, how easy you find their site or app to use, and whether you stick around or end up looking at competitors websites/apps instead. 

This way, brands can work out what they need to do to make the experience more suitable and enjoyable for you! Due to our increased online presence and the significance of user satisfaction in business success, this process really is more important than ever before.

How long will the UX testing study last?

When using a website or app in an everyday setting, it usually doesn’t take the average consumer long to achieve their desired outcome(s) and move on – probably a few minutes tops. 

With a UX testing study however, businesses and researchers really want to explore how you behave on/interact with their website or app, so the tasks they set you mean you’ll be there significantly longer; typically, around 30-60 minutes.

In some cases, you may be asked to come to a specific location (though it’ll never be too far away), in which case you’ll want to factor in some extra time for travel. However, you might have the opportunity to take part remotely – who knows, you could be making a valuable contribution to businesses and brands without even needing to get out of your PJs! 

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What’s in it for me?

In our increasingly on-the-go world, businesses and brands know just how precious your time is, so they’re always grateful to you sharing for sharing it with them – in fact, you can make money from UX testing! As a thank you, you could earn between £10 and £50 for your contribution – depending on the length and complexity of the study – in the form of money, vouchers, a cheque, or a bank transfer. 

It’s not all about the money, however (thank you, Jessie J!); it’s also a great opportunity to potentially lend a hand to some of your favourite brands and businesses and help them grow. Got a favourite clothing line but struggle to use their website? You could help to change that for the better whilst getting the chance to have your voice heard!

So should I take part?

Absolutely! It’s a fun and educational opportunity to express your thoughts whilst helping businesses to grow – and as we’ve said, you can make money from UX testing! So it truly is an endeavour that leaves smiles all around. If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved in, simply sign up below and we’ll get you started.

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what is palm oil

Why you should pay more attention to your chocolate ingredients…

Palm oil (known in the science world as ‘Elaeis Guineensis’) has been a hot topic recently, especially since the supermarket, Iceland, released its ‘Rang-tan’ advertisement in August last year, which was later banned from TV. The animated advert featured a sad orangutan, who was upset about the deforestation of his natural habitat due to palm oil production. The message of the ad was to put pressure on top brands who use palm oil within their products. It was banned from TV because it was deemed too political by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). So, what is palm oil? And why has it caused so much uproar?

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Palm oil production

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil which is used in almost half of the products found in UK supermarkets, such as chocolate, pizza, shampoo, lipstick, soap, and margarine. It comes from palm oil trees, which are grown in forests in Indonesia and Malaysia. From these trees, two types of oil can be produced: crude palm oil and palm kernel oil.

Crude palm oil comes from squeezing the fruit that are produced by the trees, which are each made up of about 50% oil. Palm kernel oil comes from crushing the stone (called a kernel) in the middle of the fruit. Each tree can produce 10 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per hectare, which is a lot of oil!

As it is so versatile, palm oil is widely used; its resistance to oxidation gives products a longer shelf-life. Plus, at high temperatures, the oil remains stable, so it is able to give fried products that crispy texture.

History

Oil palm trees are native to Africa, but were brought to South-East Asia just over 100 years ago. Now, 85% of global supply comes from Indonesia and Malaysia.

The history of this oil stretches back thousands of years! In the late 1800s, archaeologists found palm oil within a tomb in Egypt dating back to 3,000 BC. By the middle of the 15th century, palm oil was being used as a local food source by European travellers to West Africa. The British industrial revolution created a demand for palm oil – for candle-making and as a lubricant for machines. It was introduced into Malaysia in 1910, which then emerged as the world’s largest palm oil producer between 1970 and 1990.

Why so controversial?

Palm oil forests are home to many different species of animal, including Orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino. In order to extract the oil from palm trees, these forests need to be uprooted, destroying the habitats of these animals. But it’s not just animals losing their homes – many local people are also forced to leave. According to Greenpeace, an area the size of a football pitch is lost every 25 seconds in Indonesia alone, having a devastating effect on local communities.

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As well as this, when the forests are destroyed, carbon-rich peat soils produce tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, harming the environment. Shockingly, child labour and worker exploitation is still a big issue within the production of palm oil, another reason why many are strongly against this industry.

What is being done?

Let’s go back to Iceland’s TV ad. It was produced in partnership with Greenpeace, an organisation that defends the natural world and promotes peace. The ad has now received over 5.9 million views on YouTube (as of March 2019) and has sparked a petition to end the production of ‘dirty’ palm oil, which already has over 1.2 million signatures. They are aiming to get big brands such as Unilever and Nestle to drop palm oil from their products.

The WFF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is a non-government organisation, working towards wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment. They are also fighting against palm oil and raising awareness of the consequences of the production process. In 2012, the UK government set a commitment for 100% of the palm oil used within the UK to be from sustainable sources. In 2016, 78% of the total palm oil imports to the UK were sustainable, meaning there is still some way to go.

Solutions

The sustainable production of palm oil, where habitats aren’t destroyed and the environment isn’t harmed, is possible. In 2004, the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed. They have production standards that set best practices for producing and sourcing palm oil. They are a not-for-profit organisation who set these standards for companies. Brands must comply with these criteria in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).

Make a difference to the world…

If you’d like to get involved in how products are produced and marketed by big brands, then your voice can be heard. At Angelfish Opinions, we connect customers with companies by carrying out paid market research studies. To get involved and start getting invited to a range of different projects, sign up here:

Sign Up Here.