As you move into the world of UX design, there is one thing you must learn and understand continuously, that is usability testing. However, usability testing is a critical skill to master and is not as easy as you may think.
Usability testing plan is important to conduct in each phase of the lifecycle of product development. It’s important to conduct if you want to ensure your product is working well. Let’s not forget how important it’s to collect feedback throughout the process.
Let’s not wait any further because, in this article, we will find out the most important things you need to know about usability testing.
Usability testing is when a researcher (moderator) asks participants to execute certain tasks and often uses one or more user interfaces. The participants complete tasks, and the researcher will observe their behavior and collect feedback during the process.
After feedback is collected, you can leverage it and try to complete the following objectives:
How do you perform a usability test on a website?
While usability testing is excellent at creating the right products, it shouldn’t be your only focus when evaluating your users, and let’s be honest, it won’t improve usability overall.
While conducting usability testing, you can quickly identify design flaws, especially when gathering your users’ feedback about your UX design.
There are three different usability testing methods :
Even though you may think they are the same, usability and user testing are two different things. Before looking at what kind of differences they have in between each other, let’s look at their similarities:
Now let’s discuss the differences. User testing is more concerned with asking users if they want the current product or what kind of product would benefit them initially. It’s completely user-focused.
On the other hand, usability testing goals are more product-focused and look at what users need in a product context. It takes your current existing product and places it in users’ hands to see how it will work for them and if they can accomplish what they want with your product.
Usability testing is either quantitative or qualitative.
The number of participants you need to conduct usability tests will vary on the study type. However, according to studies, the ideal number of participants you should be using for your usability testing should be no more than five participants in order to achieve the best results.
Remote usability testing is often a popular method since it doesn’t require lots of investment and doesn’t only save you money but lots of time as well. There are two types of remote testing:
Whenever you conduct discount usability tests, they may not result in high costs but ask you to pay extra as incentives for participants. Testing sessions might occur in different areas, and one of the most simple tests will still take up to three days to complete. Assuming you’ve already identified what you want and have gathered participants for your test:
Alternatively, you can’t always get away with cheap tests since in-depth research is sometimes required. However, the more research you include, the higher the costs will be and sometimes can even accumulate to several thousands of dollars.
What are the things that add up to these costs? They include the following:
However, the return on investment (ROI) for advanced research usability testing can be high even if prices are high. However, before you start conducting usability testing, you must know when and when not to do it.
The only time usability testing won’t help you gain any insights are when:
You should do usability tests in different phases of the product design & development phases:
It’s best to practice usability testing in every product design development cycle phase. This is because it can help improve the product’s overall usability.
As we mentioned before, the ideal number of people you should be testing is no more than five participants, and with this amount of participants, you’re unveiling 85% of usability issues.
Another popular framework is RITE (Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation), promoting faster solutions and processes. When using this framework, it’s best to run one usability test and discover issues right after. Therefore, applying this framework allows you to conduct usability testing faster and more often.
If possible, conduct usability testing right at the beginning of your product development phase and before starting any new design work. This quickly helps you identify any areas that may not seem right and reduces the assumption rates your design team will make. Moreover, after the usability test analysis is over, your team should be able to identify what needs to be completed regarding project goals.
Usability testing for websites is essential for having a successful product design and ensuring your product is functioning well after launch. Unfortunately, many companies fail to run the proper usability testing methods and are upset after their product launches with many issues.
The best thing to do above all is to get feedback from the beginning of the usability test and ensure you are well aware of issues from the start and not after the product launch!