In Financial Services, the term ‘consumer testing’ means testing a document with members of its intended audience to determine whether the document is easy for them to read, use, and understand. Nowadays, we use consumer testing for all kinds of digital documents and forms as well as traditional pdfs.
Elements of best practice in document or consumer testing are
1. Testing should always be conducted as an individual interview and never in group discussions.
2. Participants should be members of the intended audience who have not been involved in the design or writing of the document.
3. If the sample for the testing is the general public, it should include men and women, younger and older people, people with lower and higher levels of education.
4. Testing should be conducted by an independent researcher who has not been involved in designing or writing the document.
Susan Bell Research is an expert in this form of testing.
This is what to expect when you work with us:
- We will commit our resources to understanding your material as well as we can. This takes a little bit of time upfront, but you will see the benefit.
- We design the test specifically for the material we are testing. We may create questions for you that we have never used before to meet your specific needs. We are trained in linguistics, so we bring our technical language skill to this.
- Tests can be quantitative with large samples or qualitative with smaller samples. The quantitative tests are descriptive; the qualitative test are more diagnostic
- The end result for you will be actual suggestions for rewordng and restructuring your material. We don't say 'you must write this more clearly'. We say 'this is how to write to more clearly'.
We have an ebook here