Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video Usability testing: Any team can do it, part of Foundations of UX: Usability Testing .
- Usability testing is a skill. Remaining neutral during a session is hard, and only comes with practice. Making participants feel at ease requires that you feel relaxed yourself, and that can be hard when you're just starting out. However, the benefits of running usability sessions are so great that it's worth going through the learning curve. Development teams almost always have at least one team member with sufficient empathy to become a good session moderator.
The main benefits of usability testing are to make the product work better for your target users, and to improve their satisfaction, so that existing customers use the product more, and so that more new people start using it. However, there are other benefits to usability testing. It makes the whole team more aware of who their end users truly are. It gives them examples to use in their conversations rather than just saying, "my mom could do it." Watching users struggling or succeeding with a product also brings the team closer together, and gives them a focus that is more customer-centric than code-centric.
It is important to involve the whole team, even if their initially reluctant. Give each of your other team members roles so they become active observers. Put the session times in their schedules and get them excited about seeing real users working with their code. It's also important to include the whole team in analyzing the study findings. Work together to understand the issues and propose solutions, then bring everyone back together to usability test those solutions after they have been coded.
- What is usability testing?
- Finding the right participants
- Making a screener
- Asking the right questions
- Avoiding bias
- Making a task list
- Creating the test environment
- Running a pilot study
- Moderating sessions
- Capturing real-time observations
- Analyzing and reporting your results