Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video What is usability testing?, part of UX Foundations: Usability Testing.
- Usability testing involves watching representative users working with your product so that you can make improvements based on what you see. Usability testing gives you invaluable feedback about how your users behave with your product. Knowing how users behave helps you create a much more suitable site or application. Rather than just guessing about what people might like on these, you can see their reactions first hand, and then make sure your product contains just the right features. Learning about issues early in the process saves development time and money.
Rather than spending time developing the wrong thing, a quick usability test will tell you whether you are on the right track or not. Don't be afraid to run usability tests using paper prototypes before you start writing any actual code. Getting the data directly from your users is a much better way of doing design work than arguing about features among the team. In fact, usability testing is a great way of stopping arguments. Rather than spending time fighting over whose idea is best, put the concepts in front of real users to see how well they can work with them.
There's nothing quite like real user feedback to help you determine the best way forward. The thing that separates usability testing from many other methods is that with usability testing, you're seeing real behaviors, what people do rather than just asking what people think. Often watching people do something is the only way to really understand where the issues lie and how to fix the problems you see.
- 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