Usability Testing

Usability testing is a method for evaluating the convenience and efficiency of an interface. Representatives of the target audience of the product are involved in the evaluation who work with the interface, performing specially selected tasks. Based on the behavior of the usability respondents, a specialist makes conclusions about the presence of usability problems in the interface and their nature.

 

 

Why do we need usability testing for website?

Like other usability auditing methods, testing is needed to understand what prevents your product from being effective. Usability testing helps to find out the reasons why:

  • your online store has a low conversion rate;
  • your users call the call center with questions that are already on the site;
  • your mobile app receives negative reviews on the App Store and Google Play.

You will also need testing if you want:

  • compare two interfaces, for example, the old and the new, yours and the competitor, to find out which one is better;
  • compare interface convenience for two groups of users, for example, for beginners and experienced users;
  • to identify potential usability problems of a new product even before it is released to the market;
  • to evaluate the conformity of the product with certain KPIs (for example, “the ordering process takes no more than 5 minutes”).

How does usability testing differ from focus groups?

Focus groups always include several respondents who discuss a topic at the same time. Therefore, they allow you to effectively collect the opinions of respondents about the product, service, brand and any other issue. As a rule, focus groups are not used to assess convenience, since this method provides little information about the difficulties that users encounter when working with the interface. In usability testing, respondents participate one at a time, very rarely – two, but never in a group. Each respondent performs certain tasks in the interface of your service. An expert observes the behavior of the respondent and draws conclusions on how to improve the product. The result of this research is a description of usability problems and recommendations for their elimination, based on behavior, and not on respondents’ opinions.

Usability testing methods

Using different classification criteria, we can name several types of testing.  Depending on the degree of participation of the moderator (UX-analyst):

  1. moderated – the moderator gives tasks, observes the course of their implementation, asks clarifying questions;
  2. unmoderated – a specialized service gives tasks, collects metrics and feedback automatically, without the participation of a moderator.

Depending on the location of the respondent:

  1. full-time – the respondent and the moderator are in the same room, as a rule, in the laboratory, and communicate directly;
  2. remote – the respondent participates in testing from home or from his workplace. As a rule, this is unmoderated testing. If participation of a moderator is required, the analyst communicates with the respondent via video link.

Depending on the purpose usability testing of website is divided into:

  1. exploratory – is carried out at the stage of developing an interface concept in order to check how generally the concept is understandable to users, meets their needs and expectations;
  2. test – is carried out to find and correct usability problems or assess the performance indicators of the finished product or its layout (time spent on the tasks, user satisfaction, etc.);
  3. comparative – conducted to compare the effectiveness of new and old versions or two competing products; requires the participation of a large number of respondents so that statistically significant conclusions can be drawn.

 

Full-time usability testing of websites is suitable for achieving the goals of most projects. It allows you to identify the key problems of the interface and collect detailed feedback from respondents. In order to compare the effectiveness of the two versions of the interface, remote unmoderated testing is well suited, since it allows collecting a large amount of data in a short time, but it does not provide an insight into the inherent problems that respondents face. Usability testing types are:

  • Assessment of the conformity of the design of the application to its functionality specified by the customer.
  • Analysis of used graphic elements, color design in terms of perception.
  • Evaluation of ease of navigation and reference structure.
  • Analysis of the text content of the site.
  • Evaluation of the usability of the application functions (services, if it is a site).
  • Analysis of the font design of the text.

How does usability testing service work?

As a rule, the company conducts face-to-face moderated usability testing. This means that the respondent arrives at the laboratory and performs tasks under the supervision of a usability specialist. Before starting implementation of usability testing services, employees communicate with the customer to learn more about the product to be tested, its audience, testing objectives and hypotheses that we would like to test. Having collected the requirements for the project, the UX-analyst creates usability testing plan. This is a document that contains instructions for the respondent, a list of tested tasks and questions that the moderator should ask after completing each task and after testing is completed. The script is agreed with the customer.

Full-time usability testing of websites is suitable for achieving the goals of most projects. It allows you to identify the key problems of the interface and collect detailed feedback from respondents. In order to compare the effectiveness of the two versions of the interface, remote unmoderated testing is well suited, since it allows collecting a large amount of data in a short time, but it does not provide an insight into the inherent problems that respondents face. Usability testing types are:

  • Assessment of the conformity of the design of the application to its functionality specified by the customer.
  • Analysis of used graphic elements, color design in terms of perception.
  • Evaluation of ease of navigation and reference structure.
  • Analysis of the text content of the site.
  • Evaluation of the usability of the application functions (services, if it is a site).
  • Analysis of the font design of the text.

How does usability testing service work?

As a rule, the company conducts face-to-face moderated usability testing. This means that the respondent arrives at the laboratory and performs tasks under the supervision of a usability specialist. Before starting implementation of usability testing services, employees communicate with the customer to learn more about the product to be tested, its audience, testing objectives and hypotheses that we would like to test. Having collected the requirements for the project, the UX-analyst creates usability testing plan. This is a document that contains instructions for the respondent, a list of tested tasks and questions that the moderator should ask after completing each task and after testing is completed. The script is agreed with the customer.