Testing is the Key to Creating an App that Users will Love by Katy Barnard

Testing is the Key to Creating an App that Users will Love

Developing an amazing app is a lot like creating the perfect cake recipe.

Maybe it’s too sweet? Use less sugar. Taste it. Mm, still not right.

Maybe it’s too dry? Try adding more milk. Give a piece to a friend. What do they think?

It takes constant testing until you find the exact recipe that people love.

At Peekabond, we are determined to create the perfect platform for families to make meaningful and lasting connections with little ones far away. This also takes a lot of testing. (But sadly, less cake).

What is user research?

User research is an essential part of the design process. It allows the team to test and validate or invalidate their design decisions. The user is at the center of this process. It is very important to talk to users about their experience with the app to ensure that we are designing something that works for them.

User research can take many forms such as video calls, surveys, screen captures… Using these different methods, we can understand how users use the app, where they get confused, what they like/don’t like and listen to their ideas for improvement.

How does user research work at Peekabond?

Step 1: Defining the experiment

Every user research endeavor begins with an experiment. These experiments are ideas that the Peekabond team comes up with or improvement suggestions from our users. Each new idea must be validated through user research before it goes into the app. And, once it’s in the app, we test it even more to make sure it is working well for our users.

Step 2: Finding users

Next, we need YOU! Recruiting current and future Peekabond users is the most important step, because without users there is no user testing. The only requirement to be a test user is to have experience with long-distance bonding with young children. You can be a parent trying to have your kids bond with their grandparents. You can be the grandparent trying to bond with your little loved ones. You can be an aunt, an uncle or a cousin. Or you can be a close family friend.

Step 3: Setting a time to meet

Typically, we use video calling for our user research at Peekabond. For each person that wants to participate, we send them a calendar link where they can pick a time that works for them. 

Step 4: Conducting the interview

Most interviews take around 30 minutes. During the call, our user researcher, Katy, asks the user questions relating to the experiment they are running and gives them prompts of things to do in the app.

For example, if the experiment is to understand users’ experience of adding a family member to their family circle in the app, Katy might ask the user to add her to their family circle and speak out loud about their process as they go. After the user completes the task, Katy will ask the user about what they found easy, difficult, clear and confusing.

Step 5: Analyzing the data

Each interview is full of rich data that can help us improve Peekabond. The key insights from the interviews are translated into proposed changes for the designer and the team to discuss.

How has user research helped us so far?

Thanks to the many users who have already given us their feedback through user interviews, we have been able to make valuable improvements to the Peekabond app.

For example, user research helped us discover and validate the family circles concept where users can connect their Peekabond account to the accounts of their family members for easy sharing. Another experiment helped us understand the central role of parents in long-distance bonding and build different onboarding flows for each type of family member. Many users have suggested to us that they want to be able to add filters and stickers to their videos to make them more fun, so that is something we are working on for the app now.

Every single interview brings great potential to help the app grow. The more we learn about our users and their experience with Peekabond, the better we can build an app that is useful and enjoyable for them.

Our goal is to know when we need to add some more sugar, when we should cut down on the flour and what color to dye the frosting. And for that, we need you to tell us what you think!

“It was great to be brought in early to see how the app is progressing and give feedback. I think parents have a lot of unique circumstances and ways they want to connect, and it’s good to know that Peekabond is developing with our feedback in mind.”
– Jason, parent
“My chat with Katy about the app was warm and friendly. She never made me feel like a fool for being so technologically daft. I hope the app in development goes well.”
– Sara, grandma
“I really felt appreciated as an app tester and it was a pleasure for me to be interviewed by Katy. It was a very good feeling to be treated as a member of Peekabond, and I’m fond of using this app.”
– Edith, grandma


Do you want to get involved?

Are you in a family where long-distance bonding with little ones is part of your routine? We’re always welcoming new test users to be part of our development family. If you’d like to participate please email to learn more!