Why research and testing are vital in web design

By her own admission, Ida Aalen is a very impatient person. "If I see something that doesn't work, I get an urgent need to fix it," she laughs. "It's almost a problem. When I see tourists on the street holding their map upside down, I have to go over and help them."

It's hardly surprising, then, to learn that Aalen is a champion for user testing, both in her day job as senior user experience designer at Oslo-based digital design agency Netlife Research, and in the wider web community. "Some problems are more messy and complex than others," she explains. "Strategy is a way of digging into what the problem really is – what is it that we really want to achieve? And user research is a way to make sure we're fixing the right problems in the right way."

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Julia Sagar
Editor-in-chief retail

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.