This blog was written with the purpose of being a complete guide to usability testing. Usability testing ensures that the interface of your app is built to fit the end-user expectations and incorporates easy usage, learnability of the system, and user experience satisfaction. It has many dimensions where usability tests translate your app’s experience into a successful validation process.
So when do you need to conduct usability testing?
The earlier a defect is found, the better in the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) it will be cheaper to fix. Since usability test results affect the design of the product, it should start at the same level as the software (to undergo changes) throughout the SDLC process. Continuous and rigorous testing will yield maximum results. As an internal process, designers and developers on the project perform the testing to analyze the system for design and code to be modified as per the changes detected in the usability testing phase.
Here are some methods of usability testing:
Usability tests validate if the software is how a user would like it to be and whether it is a comfortable and holistic experience for the user.
- During the design phase – Draw your app/website design and evaluate its workability.
- In the build phase – Randomly test to determine the app’s usability factors.
- Hire real-time users to use your app/website and report results.
- Check statistics based on the input wireframes.
- Employ a QA services company that specializes in the usability testing field
Standard types of usability tests:
Guerilla usability testing Set up your tests where there is a lot of traffic, which allows you to ask passers-by for feedback of your app/website to evaluate user experience.
Unmoderated usability testing Uses third-party software to recruit ideal sample users for your test to interact with your app/website in their natural environment while recording their task completion to give you objective feedback.
Moderated usability testing Interacts with sample users in person or via video call to elaborate on their comments or help users understand tasks and keep them on track.
Now let’s discuss the 9 phases of usability testing,
Phase 1: Decide which part of your application/website you’ll test.Do you have particular concerns with your interaction or workflow? Want to know what your users will do on your product page? List your app/website’s pros and cons and create a concrete hypothesis for your testing.
Phase 2: Pick your test tasks. Your sample user’s task should be similar to your end-users goals with your app/website when they interact with it, for example, while transacting a purchase.
Phase 3: Set a level for success. Decide what you want to test and how you plan to check it and then accordingly set criteria to determine success levels for each task. Establishing a measurement for success/failure helps determine if your app/website’s user experience is intuitively designed.
Phase 4: Write scripts and plan tests. The purpose of the tests should be added to the beginning of your script and must include what you’ll be recording during the testing phase of your app/website. Gather knowledge of your sample user while they perform the tasks to make your test consistent and unbiased.
Phase 5: Assign roles. While testing usability ensures that your moderator is neutral while guiding sample users through the tasks mentioned in the script. During the testing, ensure notes are taken, which will later help extract insights to prove your hypothesis.
Phase 6: Identify your sample users. Recruitment of a sample user base and keep it small during every testing phase to ensure it resembles your actual user base as closely as possible.
Phase 7: Conduct the tests. During the testing, check if your sample users can complete tasks one at a time without assistance because the results from the testing can diagnose the pros and cons of your design.
Phase 8: Analyze results. The results obtained after testing will help you discover problem patterns so you can assess the severity of each usability issue. While examining the data, please pay attention to user performance and their feelings about your app/website.
Phase 9: Review and report findings. Insights from your results will help layout the next steps to improve your app/website’s design. Correct enhancements can be done before the next round of testing.
Usability testing is, therefore, vital as it is a great technique to help your UX designers in your development team by giving them the necessary insight on how their users interact with the final app/website. Always employ one of the top QA companies to carry out your Usability Testing to make sure you can apply appropriate techniques to improve the quality and design of your app/website and that the end product is user-centered. Codoid is considered an industry expert on usability, and we would be happy to help you out with your next launch.