What is Usability Testing?
Usability testing is a technique used to evaluate the ease of use of a product or system by testing it with representative users. Usability testing in software testing is an important aspect of the design process, as it helps identify any problems or issues that users may encounter when interacting with the product. This allows designers to make changes and improvements to enhance the user experience and ensure that the product is as easy and intuitive to use as possible.
Why do Usability Testing
Improves User Satisfaction: Usability testing helps ensure that a software product is intuitive, user-friendly, and easy to use. This can lead to greater user satisfaction and adoption of the product.
Identifies User Needs: By testing a software product with real users, developers can identify what users find difficult or confusing about the product. This feedback can be used to improve the product and better meet user needs.
Saves Time and Money: Fixing usability issues before a product is released can save time and money in the long run. It is much easier and less expensive to make changes early in the development process than after a product has been released to the public.
Reduces Training Costs: A software product that is easy to use and intuitive will require less training for users, which can save organizations time and money.
Improves Productivity: A software product that is easy to use and intuitive can help users be more productive and efficient in their work.
Enhances Brand Reputation: A software product that is easy to use and intuitive can enhance an organization’s reputation and brand image by showing that they prioritize user experience and usability.
How To Do Usability Testing?
Identify your goals: Before starting the usability testing, you need to identify your goals and what you want to achieve through the testing.
Recruit participants: You will need to find participants who are representative of your target users. You can use a variety of methods for recruiting participants, such as reaching out to existing customers, advertising on social media or online communities, or using a professional recruitment agency.
Set up the testing environment: Prepare the testing environment by ensuring that the equipment, software, and other tools are all set up and working correctly. You may need to provide the participants with a quiet, distraction-free space where they can complete the testing.
Develop scenarios and tasks: Create realistic scenarios and tasks that participants will need to complete during the testing. These tasks should be representative of what users would typically do with the product or service.
Conduct the test: Give participants instructions for completing the tasks and observe their behavior as they complete each one. You can ask questions or prompt participants for feedback as they work through each task.
Analyze the results: After the testing, collect and analyze the data to identify areas where users had difficulty or found the product or service confusing. This will help you make informed decisions about how to improve the usability of your product or service.
Iterate and improve: Based on the findings from the usability testing, make changes to the product or service and conduct additional testing to see if the changes have improved usability. Repeat this process until you have a product or service that meets the needs of your users.
Types of Usability Testing
Explorative testing: This type of testing used to gather initial feedback on a product or service. Participants are asked to explore the product or service and provide feedback on their initial impressions and any issues they encounter.
Comparative testing: This involves testing multiple versions of a product or service to determine which one is more usable or preferred by users.
Expert review: In an expert review, usability experts evaluate a product or service based on established usability principles and best practices. This can be a useful way to identify potential usability issues early on in the design process.
Remote testing: Remote testing involves testing a product or service with participants who are located in different locations. This can be useful for reaching a wider audience and gathering feedback from users in different geographic locations.
Focus groups: Focus groups involve gathering a group of participants together to discuss their experiences with a product or service. This can be a useful way to gather qualitative feedback and identify potential usability issues.
Guerrilla testing: Guerrilla testing involves conducting quick and informal usability tests in public places, such as coffee shops or libraries. This can be a cost-effective way to gather feedback from a diverse group of users.
Usability Testing Example
usability testing example could be testing the user interface of a new mobile banking app. The goal of the testing could be to identify any issues with the app’s usability and user experience, such as navigation, layout, and ease of use.
Identify the goals of the usability testing, such as improving the user experience, reducing user errors, and increasing user engagement.
Recruit participants who are representative of the target users of the mobile banking app. These participants could be existing customers or potential users who match the demographic of the target audience.
Set up the testing environment, which could involve providing participants with a smartphone or tablet with the mobile banking app installed. Participants should ask to complete a series of realistic scenarios and tasks, such as checking their account balance, transferring money to another account, and paying bills.
Conduct the test by observing the participants as they complete the tasks and asking questions to gather feedback on their experience. Participants could asked to think aloud and verbalize their thoughts and opinions as they complete each task.
Analyze the results by reviewing the feedback and identifying areas where participants had difficulty or experienced confusion. This could involve looking at metrics such as task completion rates, time taken to complete tasks, and number of errors made.
Iterate and improve the mobile banking app based on the findings from the usability testing. This could involve making changes to the user interface, improving the clarity of instructions, or simplifying the tasks.
Conduct additional usability testing to see if the changes have improved the app’s usability and user experience. This iterative process can repeat until the mobile banking app meets the desired level of usability and user satisfaction.
Usability Testing Tools
UserTesting: UserTesting is a popular usability testing platform that allows you to create tasks and scenarios for participants to complete, record their screen and audio, and get feedback on the user experience.
Hotjar: Hotjar is a tool that allows you to track user behavior on your website, including heatmaps, click maps, and session recordings. This can help you identify areas where users are getting stuck or confused.
Optimal Workshop: Optimal Workshop is a suite of tools that includes tree testing, card sorting, and other methods for evaluating the usability of your website or app.
Usabilla: Usabilla is a feedback tool that allows you to collect user feedback on your website or app, including surveys and visual feedback.
Lookback: Lookback is a user research platform that allows you to conduct remote usability testing, interviews, and surveys with users.
Maze: Maze is a user testing and research platform that allows you to create and run user tests, analyze results, and share findings with your team.
Morae: Morae is a desktop application that allows you to record and analyze user testing sessions, including screen capture, audio, and eye tracking.
The type of usability testing used will depend on the goals of the testing and the resources available. Combining multiple types of usability testing can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the user experience.