User Experience (UX) testing is a way of learning about how your customers experience your software, in their natural environment. UX testing techniques developed from the idea of tracing cognitive processes as methods to study actual behaviour at an atomic level, the use of verbal reports and protocols for their analysis in data collection has evolved largely from efforts at understanding human problem solving in the field of psychology (Ericsson & Simon, 1980; Newell & Simon, 1972).
How UX is conducted
The UX testing technique most often used today is the Think-Aloud Protocol (TAP) method developed by Lewis (1980) at IBM research. In think-aloud protocol (TAP) sessions, the participant is asked to vocalise their thoughts, their actions, their expectations of the results of those actions and, any confusion or concerns arising, in the presence of a facilitator. This facilitator also observes the session and may prompt the participant in order to keep the commentary alive. There are two distinct types of TAP, which produce the best results when used in conjunction - Concurrent Analysis and Retrospective Analysis.