The Usability testing directly refers to test product or services from user perspective or by user their self. We can take notes of observations and watch what the user feels about product and services while they are accessing the product. So what and why we collect data? Obviously this is to improve the product or service quality, make more user friendly, find usability problems.
Here we need users- generally hired participant for testing product by them, We need pan to test about test cases, tasks list and observers to watch and take a note of it then this all collect data and analyses it. In the predevelopment phase while we designing wireframe we can able to identify issue and we can also fix the design elements flaw related issue before its actually coded. You can directly ask users and also can watch directly or later user study. Special usability testing lab can have camera specific environment, eye tracking system and many more to observe and collect data. If we go in depth of benefits of usability testing there are lots of usability testing benefits are as explained below:
- Find task able complete or not
- Time required to complete
- Improvement areas
- Complex designs/flaw
- Satisfaction ratio
You can do testing with no special labs. Some of people have mentality about usability testing requires testing lab. But effective usability testing can be done anywhere anytime. We just need user data and observation notes how they are using applications and where they feels obstacles.
So basically usability testing is not a single time process, its iterative process. Whenever you update your website flaw you have to do usability testing whether you have done is right or not? Few of areas and items that you have to look at when you are going to think about usability testing. Like Time, Participants cost/compensation and Rental cost if any.
Usability testing methods and processes
Card sorting is a useful tool to determine how users categorize the information that will
appear on a website. Mainly navigational menu can be redefined and we can get more clear categorized navigational items. I prefer to have taxonomy included in this to get more clear naming conventions.
A charrette is an intense generative exercise that takes place over multiple days, and involves a multi-disciplinary group of participants. Participants are grouped and do some brainstorming or the finding solution and all group come up with solution. After that all group coming forward and merge their solution and identify the exert solution which is more suitable and useful.
Usability expert “walk” through the website to identify the website flow and usability level in one round. Experts can be one or more and they check the usability front at website on basis of UX basics and their own experience.
A contextual task analysis, or contextual inquiry, is a user research method that applies observation and one-on-one interviewing to understand the task procedures that users follow to reach their goals. In short steps taken to reach goals or achieving target.
All people are aware about brainstorming groups of experts comes together and brainstorming with issues, task, flaw and approached. Also finds good solution for the system which is more usable and proper. It’s like deep discussions.
Focus groups are is more useful for evaluating product which depends actually on targeted users. Facilitates a small group of 4 to 8 participants, by showing them or demonstrating a product or concept.
Expert checks the usability front at website on basis of UX basics and their own experience. He/she will take walkthrough and identifies the improvement areas according to experience they feels.
The method is called A/B testing because there are two versions of a website/interface (the A and the B version) that are compared. Mainly used for e-commerce websites, A/B testing can easily be used in interface design as well; and it can be as effective as giving testers an overview of which interface is better between a choice of two or more.
Keystroke Level Modeling
When interface efficiency is important, you’ll want to measure how much a new design can improve task times. By using this approach you can identify the time taken to complete task and you can compare how much time saved or lost .This will give criteria and data about human performance for typical computer based operations like clicking, pointing and typing.
When you think about user’s interest and what user ignored you must need help of Click testing. Generally, user clicks on interested areas and navigational items, we can get data about user journey and what approach user avoid to go.
10 usability heuristics originally defined by Jakobe Nielsen in 1994. Nielsen’s Usability Heuristics, which have continued to evolve in response to user research and new devices. Check more about Heuristic Evaluation.
Final Thoughts on usability testing
Usability testing gives best usable interfaces, also helps to create usable website design. It’s not required big upfront amount to do usability testing. It’s not necessary to have big high definition labs. You just need participants, or you can call real user who going to use application or website. You can do few of testing method by using you family members and your friends. It’s good to have to confirm what you do is helpful and usable.
Best usable & user-friendly product will help business because without user there is no business.