The Mom Test and Cascadin
Two years ago, when we were about to launch Cascadin (and before the pandemic started taking its toll), I had an idea. I wanted to put Cascadin to the ‘Mom Test.’
In hindsight, I’m glad we waited. Cascadin’s changed so much in the last two years. We’ve increased its simplicity as well as its functionality. I feel good about these improvements and since we’re visiting my Mom, I felt Cascadin was ready for the ultimate software test.
What is the ‘Mom Test?’
For us, the Mom Test is about finding out how easy it is for most people to use Cascadin. This is the best description I found for how we’re using the Mom Test:
“To evaluate your digital customer experience, don’t test it with people who spend most of their life on devices. Instead, find less experienced testers who might be considered digitally awkward – maybe your mom or your great-uncle. Your cranky neighbor who yells at you to get off the grass. Or, perhaps a friend who still longs for their flip phone and is constantly asking you for tech help. If a few of these testers…have no problem using your website or mobile app the first time they encounter it, you have probably got it right for just about everyone.”The ‘Mom Test’ for Customer Experience, Forbes, June 2020
While my Mom does okay with most devices and technology, she is by no means technically savvy. A lot of people are like my Mom. That’s why the Mom Test is so good for us to do. We’re designing Cascadin so that it’s simple to use, and if it doesn’t pass the Mom Test, we’re not delivering on our mission.
What I learned during the Mom Test
Cascadin isn’t perfect.
Okay, I knew that already. But, watching my Mom use Cascadin for the first time illuminated a few gaps in the tool. It was also helpful to watch someone using Cascadin on an iPad. While Cascadin isn’t a mobile app, we have designed it to function well on a mobile device. Luckily, it worked well on her iPad, with a few design tweaks needed.
Reinforcing our planned updates
We rely on feedback from people using Cascadin to understand what we can improve. Sitting down and watching someone use the tool is probably the most impactful way we can receive feedback. While I know my Mom isn’t going to use Cascadin, the things she struggled with could be experienced by someone else.
That’s why it was good confirmation for us about what we’re planning. Our short-term roadmap includes updates to the onboarding experience as well as making the account management simpler. These were things that Mom struggled with a little, and I’m glad we’re working on these improvements.
The results of the Mom Test
I’m proud to say that Cascadin passed the Mom Test.
In Cascadin, my Mom created her ‘honey-do list’ for Jake and me while we visit. I used Cascadin to track my progress on that list, and I’m thrilled to share that I completed all the tasks. Whew!
Thank you, Mom!
I had so much fun doing this experiment with my Mom. She laughed. I laughed. Jake laughed. Hopefully, you’ll laugh. (And maybe be less intimidated by Cascadin now – it really is simple!)
Mom, thank you for doing this. You’re the best. ❤️
Co-Founder & CEO
Known for organizing the dirty dishes before cleaning them, Alyson is learning how to do less, better and helping others do the same. She loves exploring beautiful lands near and far, trying new recipes, aspiring to be the next Star Baker, growing her garden, and avoiding board games at all cost.